Monday, February 28, 2011

More surprises

Really didnt think this would be here. These few Brents and the Brant were hanging around the shoreline of a favourite dog walking area in Gillingham this morning. As with the birds at Baiter they were not overly fussed by the proximity of dogs and walkers

Bird pretty close but light levels terrible so slow shutter speeds today

From other side

Darker undercarriage than Db. Also in this shot looks about half the size.

Blackwits at some other grey and dingy place further along from Gillingham

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pom de terre

A grounded Pom certainly brightened up a dull Shell Ness this morning.
And very confiding it was too.

Probably got a bit too close but it didnt fly very far. Wasnt sure at the time the age of this bird but looking at literature later confirmed it to be a non breeding adult due to the dark uniform underwing coverts

Large Brent flock still just north of Shell Ness but couldnt see anything interesting in there this time. Despite numbers looking similar to last time the odd hybrid goose wasnt with them

Brambling year tick at Harty

Pintail at Oare Marshes

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not that pesky Gull again

Bogged down with paper work and things at the moment so again limited to local.
Ring-billed still around so couldnt resist trying to get a few more pics of it

At last a flight shot so we can see that tail pattern

Common Gull to compare, much neater

I have got a good excuse for taking a photo of this bird.

and this one. Ticks 55 and 56.

But not this one.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Poole Park and Baiter

A quick visit to Poole Park again to try and improve on my Dowitcher shots. Showing even closer than before.

Didnt realise their bills were so flexible

Two green ringed Meds together, although from different countries. The adult bird is from Belgium and the second winter from Pas de Calais. Both have crossed the channel on at least 3 occasions

Havent got round to sending off the details of this bird yet but the chances are it is from the Taymyr Peninsula

Only one year tick today

Probably from Germany

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Garden birds

52. Lesser Redpoll

53. Sparrowhawk through window into sun, honest. They all count.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shore Road and Holes Bay

Still slow progress on the photographic tick list with no time for wanted trips to Norfolk and Cornwall so will have to settle for a few more local ticks.
50. Bar-tailed Godwit

Few Oyks also

Quick look in at Holes Bay where I inadvertently flushed these Wigeon

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A sunny day!

Although still completely bogged down by paperwork and other various commitments did manage to get out in the sun for a couple of hours. Thought would try and improve on my Ring-billed photos. Perhaps some flight shots. The only problem was it didnt want to fly, even when bread was on offer.

There were a couple of Common Gulls around that did take to the air so had to settle for those.

When this bird came in with its odd looking tail pattern for a second I thought it was the Ring-billed so rather than studying it just took a few shots. It wasnt the Ring-billed but a Common Gull with unusually extensive black in the outer tail feathers. It also still had a load of juvenile scapulars which should have been moulted long ago.

Relocated it to get some more pics.

Looking at the literature later there are various options. It could come from a far north canus late breeding population, it could be a more eastern heinei, or it could just be just a more southerly canus with retarded moult. Features that suit heinei without being diagnostic are long winged appearance, retarted moult in February, heavy markings on hind neck, breast and flanks, bold chevrons on upper and undertail coverts, barring on outer tail feathers.
Another apparent feature is that on the folded wing P5 extends noticably beyond the tertials, on this bird it can be seen but doesnt extend that far and apparently this can also occur in some canus
(James has since pointed out that this could infact be P4 protruding and therefore P5 does actually extend some way past the tertials)

Things that dont fit is the bill which is supposed to be heavier and more parallel edged and the underwing is less marked which I didnt get photos of but I dont remember them being much different.

On way back had a quick look in at Baiter where this Pale-bellied Brent was showing well

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Back to Poole Park

The good thing about something turning up and sticking around is that it brings plenty of coverage for the site. The bonus bird today was a first year Ring-billed Gull, and a very confiding one at that. The only downside was that it was yet another very dull day.

Dowitcher still close in