Thursday, 21 February 2013

Sea of Tranquility

I have spent 8 of the the last 11 days at sea. This has allowed me to reacquaint with plenty of seabirds but notably after sitting out a southerly gale without too many problems (I don't get sea sick thankfully). Loads of Kittiwakes including some pretty looking first winter birds

After the wind died down we were very lucky with big numbers of Porpoise and Razorbill. A few Black-throated Divers were well received. We also managed a few unseasonal birds, presumably forced north from Biscay. A 1st winter Sabine's Gull was following a boat - that is 5 in 6 months after only 1 previous record. A couple of Bonxies presumably were early migrants but with these guys you can never know with odd birds wintering.

 Aside from these it was the usual fare but remarkable weather for February with sunburn included! On the way home I called in at Wolferton for the Golden Pheasants which have been showing recently. Despite a photographer who thought that standing in the road was a good idea and a 'birder' with £1000 plus bins but walking around the triangle in a bright red coat I finally managed to connect. A male scuttled a third of the way across the road before taking flight, longer and skinnier than its common cousin. No photos I am afraid but UK lifer number 338. Slowly inching toward 350 now.

Today I went out to Barmston. It was freezing but I managed to add 5 species to the year list with Guillemot the pick with other such luminaries as Dunnock and Long-tailed Tit. A couple of Redshank in a field looked very cold but it was generally quiet.

Tomorrow I go Wolf Watching!

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive