Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Daughter Bird

Had a chance to see the bird that we named our little girl after today. Just over 2 years ago I was flicking through my Collins trying to bone up a bit on features whilst quite,quite drunk and I had an epiphany whilst looking a sandy small passerine - we'd call my daughter Isabelle. Not after the more glamourous shrike but after Isabelline Wheatear.

Sadly sandy bird on sandy background in low light doesnt make for
great pictures

I had the chance to go for the Filey bird in 2006 but it was quite late in the day when news broke and I was still pretty much a newbie so I passed. Yesterday news broke when I was in the soft play centre with my daughter that one had been found at Spurn and I couldnt get away thus fearing another missed opportunity. I hatched a plan to head down this morning with trepidation as they are a species notorious for doing a bunk after a single day. Fortunately it stayed and I got pretty awesome views as it flew round the crowd early this morning. Very sandy without the bluetones of a northern, it had an indistinct super which was almost entirely infront of the eye. When the bird was feeding on the sand of the humber it was evident it had a black alula as well and the 'jizz' was a bit different from its commoner congener but not as distinctive as has been suggested. My thoughts are that it seemed easier to pick on plumage than behaviour.

Although I was only there an hour I also saw a Hooded Crow flying across the mudflats north (a Yorkshire tick for a friend that took him to 300 - what a tart) and a flock of c25 Crossbills heading south. It looked immense and if I didnt have commitments Id have stayed all day. I overheard an owl had come in and 2 Snobs flew past the obs and thrushes were piling out of the sky. I would be very much surprised if something else good isnt turned up by the end of the day. The wheatear was a world tick and a pretty cool bird. Im glad we named our daughter after it.


Tim Jones said...

I don't wanna tell you the story of where the word Isabelline comes from...

James said...

We named her after the person with slanky pants and not the pants themselves (Isabelline would be a dumb name) ;-)

How birds and brains become mutually exclusive

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