Water Pipit starting to go into summer plumage. These birds are surprisingly wary, flying off at some distance, you would have thought with all the activity there they would be used to humans by now. Had to creep up and hide from this one.
Arrived at Shore Road just in time to see the flock leaving for the Brownsea roost. They must have been well fed as there was still plenty of mud available on the rising tide.
A search though this photo reveals that they all have the clean white areas going up the back and so are all standard birds.
There were six Cormorants loafing together at Poole Park. The light was from the wrong way but decided to try and photograph them all to see what kind of gular pouch angle they had.
I measured the angles from the photos and the birds seem to fall neatly into two broad groups of angles, the first 65, 70 and 80 and the second 100, 105 and 110.
One could guess that these could be three carbo and three sinensis however this is not the case. Apparently pure carbo must have an angle of less than 65 degrees and pure sinensis an angle greater than 76 degrees. Anything inbetween is not safely identifiable and is thought to include some hybrids.
Obviously my measurements are not going to be as exact as measuring a in hand or dead bird, however it seems that none of these are safely identifiable as pure carbo with two measurements inbetween and four sinensis.
Apparently the gular pouch angle of sinensis is greatest in the east, with those in the west at the smallest end. carbo are also clinal but from north to south with the largest in the south thus making the south of Britain one of the most difficult areas in the world to assign a Cormorant to a sub-species.
These pics are in gular pouch angle order!
Here is a bird photographed in China, check out the angle here!
With a high over France, light southerly winds and drizzle forecast for Dorset, there had to be birds at Portland. Leaving a bit late, whilst on my way news came through of a Hoopoe at Southwell. On passing Lodmoor spotted Bagsy waiting for a bus so stopped and picked him up. This good turn was reciprocated when on arrival at Southwell we were invited into his friends garden where the bird had been feeding. It had gone by the time we arrived but after some waiting it came back, landing in one of his trees, it had a look around did a bit of a crest raise and was off again, staying long enough to get a few snap shots.
There were also a few Chiffs about, all having sticky matted areas at base of their bills giving away their migrant status. This stuff has been analysed and seems to be a mixture of pollen and other sticky things!