Sunday, 28 February 2010

A Red Herring....

....and a Black bird.

On Friday 12 February my pager alerted me to a 'wholly unconfirmed report' of a Black Woodpecker in Cumbria and the following story eventually emerged which created a much welcome touch of humour into the occasionally too serious business of birding and 'roughly' went like this....A lady was descending the lower slopes of Ling Fell in Cumbria when she noticed a 'woodpecker' on a telegraph pole, there appears to be not too much else mentioned about the sighting though - upon questioning - this woman did state the bird never moved but that when she had done her research into what she had seen she was quite convinced after much study of books that the bird had been a Black Woodpecker. Well skip any other details about this story to move on to the conclusion which is that BT informed of the practice they had undertaken which was to place models of the Great Spotted Woodpecker on telegraph poles in this area to deter the real birds from damaging them....Mmmmm!

A couple of gems from Colin Bushells travels the first of which I would regard as a little gem. This is the Frilled Coquette, the smallest of the Brazilian hummingbirds.


....this one could only be regarded as a huge gem and is the Harpy Eagle. This bird is considered to be one of the worlds largest eagles and has a body length of up to 41 inches, a wingspan of 6.5 foot, can weigh up to 20 pounds, and has hind talons up to the size of a Grizzly Bears claws. The Harpy Eagles feed primarily on animals like monkeys, sloths, opposums, and some reptiles and birds. Colin was observing the bird in this image just 'a couple of weeks ago' in Venezuela. Please take a look at Colins website 'Ribble to Amazon!' which you can link to from my sidebar. 

Thanks for the pic's Colin which have gone towards keeping Birds2blog not just alive but interestlingly so  until I can get myself back on the birding road.


Colin Bushell said...

Hi Pete,
Thanks for featuring the pics from S America.
The Harpy will feature in a BBC series in the future. The tower was still in situ although they'd finished filming for the time being at least. Apparently they have footage from the nest too. Will be fascinating viewing for sure.
Looking forward to reading about your next excursions too.

Pete Woodruff said...

Some creature the Harpy....talons the size of a Grizzly Bears claws Colin....WOW!