Wednesday 28 October 2009

Skiiving my duties

A dank, wet and windy morning on Saturday soon put paid to our ringing with the sensible decision to close the nets taken unanimously after two hours and a retrapped wren. A Concensus was made to decamp to Bempton in order tosee the Red-flanked Bluetail that had taken up temporary residence beside the feeding station. This was merely a year tick for me having seen the corking 2007 bird in Old Fall at Flamborough but it would be a first BOU rare for will aged 9 and Graham, Will's dad. Graham had previously missed Bluetails on there breeding ground so this would be some form of catharsis. Fortunately the bird was showing like a gem at about 5m range when we arrived on low branches and then feeding in the leaves like its commoner red-breasted cousin. It was quite confiding but some dickheads decided they wanted to be at one with the bird and promptly flushed it deeeper in to the plantation when the started edging in. Why? Bloody photographers. BTW thanks for the shots Paul Reed. Also BTW he wasnt the flusher. We quickly moved on to look for the RB Shrike that has been a field or two north but it was sensibly hunkered down in the high winds. Graham had to get away to domestic bliss so I decided to truely abuse my pass out by seeing the Dusky warbler at North Landing. It'd be rude not too. My previous with this species involved a particularly skulky bird in Easington in 2007. All i saw was an eyestripe that went 'TACK' moving through the hedge. This bird as to prove a little better with out in the open views and soft calling. Radde's and Chiffy were duly eliminated and 3 or 4 brief views over a forty minute period pieced it all together. Im chuffed I went to see this educational bird. Back to the baby afterward though...

Thursday 22 October 2009

Eastern Crowned Warbler - Whitburn

WOAH!!!! Just come out on BF. 1st for Britain. Chances of getting there slim. Heres a link to the pic

Eastern Crowned Warbler

Sunday 18 October 2009

Day Release

Got allowed out for 4 hours today so hit the geadland at Flamborough. Gave south landing a good workout but it only produced a handful of 'eastern' abietinus type Chiffchaff plus a nice variety of turdus. The beach produced a Mipit amongst the Rockits. Also 3 Barwits and a distant duck sp. Hmm. Not really the quality id hope for. Moved onto old fall where further eastern Chiffers were supported by an acredula type Willow Warbler. A Clouded Yellow was a butterfly lifer. Just as i went to leave a male Ring Ouzel flushed from the plantation into the hedge. Which was nice. The strange Ladybird was not one id seen before -- is it a Harlequin?

Sunday 11 October 2009

Escape to the Country (Park)

As I have been snowed under with my newborn daughter things life-related and specifically bird related have taken somewhat a back seat. This morning I was given permission to join Filey ringing group at the commencement of their ringing week.
An early start saw a soaking wet male Merlin puffed up near the Dotterel pub, Reighton looking thoroughly miserable. Probably wondering if Norway was drier.

I arrived at Filey CP just after 8 and there were already two birds to ring. Sadly I got the male chaffinch whilst the potential ringing tick of a 3F Brambling was taken by somebody else. Not long after my trainer, Graham arrived with his family en masse.
We were quickly into the rounds as vizmig kicked off. Large numbers of Redwing, Song Thrush and Blackbird poured overhead with a distant Jay a site tick for several people (not me as i failed to get onto it). The first round brought in many blackbirds and gold/greenfinches. The star bird of the round was a 1st winter Black Redstart - a year tick for me but sadly I was not the only person who needed this as a ringing tick. I did get the Brambling ringing tick I'd hoped for with a very white rumped 3 female.
Another round produced a sandy, concolourous Lesser Whitethroat which biometrics showed as a probable halimodendri - aka Steppe Lesser Whitethroat. A super little bird which stayed high in the canopy - a good sign along with its stronger bill that it wasn't minula.
Reports of a Yellow-browed Warbler knocking about raised expectation and a Ring Ouzel overflew with Blackbirds chacking away. A nice year tick. Sadly I had to disappear fairly rapidly as lunchtime approached. A Redwing hit the nets but again another ringer needed this as a tick. I got really into the ageing and sexing of Greenfinches and blackbirds and some proper good birds were seen.
As a postscript I got a mildly gripping text from Graham saying that the YB Warbler had been trapped in the afternoon with a photo duly emailed. Doh. Hopefully heading down on Tuesday morning all being well.
p.p.s. Heres a gratuitous photo of my daughter.

Saturday 3 October 2009

How birds and brains become mutually exclusive

Record, share and compare with BUBO Listing at