Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Complex Birding/Birds.

Housebound again today so an opportunity to put forward a few very brief personal point's/view's on the complexities of 'spring' alba wagtail's. But first I insist on making it perfectly clear I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination in any field of ornithology and will never achieve such a title.

I always think if you find a 'classic' White Wagtail in spring nothing could be more straight forward for ID than this bird, trouble is the 'classic' bird isn't always the one you come across and none of the six I saw yesterday west of Fluke Hall were this. However, as I mentioned in the previous post the first clue I go for is a toss up between noting the birds clean flanks and the fact its black crown and bib are notably separated. I reckon the truth is, if you're going to try to separate male/female Pied's you have a bigger challenge on your hands than separating Pied from White. Both sexes of the White have a clean pale ash - grey mantle which produces a smart clean - cut appearance. Sexing the White adult in spring is usually possible by taking a close look at the crown, on the female the black'ish cap fades into the grey mantle whereas on the male the black cap is clearly cut off from the mantle. On first - summer females (and some males I understand) the black is reduced or even lacking on some.

I just wish 'birding' was easy all the time but it doesn't work that way. As for the complexities of the Yellow Wagtail....I'll leave that one for another life I think!

The two LBB Gull's I photographed at Glasson Dock yesterday, I think were practising in the bottom pic for the next round of Strictly Come Dancing, but in the top pic the bird on the right looks as though it may well be a future contestant singing in The X Factor. By the way, I have to say I wouldn't waste my eyesight on either programme.

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