Monday, 26 July 2010

Four Minus Two!

Shaded Broad-bar. Pete Woodruff.

I had - the now customary - four hours to spare for birding today but as it turned out the English summer weather changed all that and reduced it to two, but I did have an opportunity to take a photograph of the moth above which as ever remains unidentified as I write, I'm hoping its new to the area but reckon quite the reverse will be the case being common and widespread.

I gave Conder Green a good 1.5 hours this late morning and found at least 11 Common Sandpiper and the female Ruff still here as is the summer plumage Little Grebe on the pool along with the juvenile Great-crested Grebe, 10 Lapwing, 20 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher, and 4 Greenshank, the latter I found from the west end viewpoint and wouldn't have done so from the east end, the perfect example of birds hidden from view on Conder Pool behind the islands. The only small birds noted were 4 Goldfinch and a Whitethroat about which I learned something today being, given the views I had of this bird - which wasn't an adult male - the ageing/sexing was difficult if not impossible and I was unable to separate it from 1st summer male/female/autumn immature. From the old railway bridge I picked out an adult Mediterranean Gull on the far bank of the River Lune with just c. 40 Black-headed Gull.

By now it was looking decidedly grey and misty and my four hours birding was about to be reduced to two, against my better judgement I drove to Bank End in the hope of a decent 'gull' roost, but as things turned out the number was very few - though I did check them out - and the mist and heavy drizzle dominated the weather and by the time I'd spent another of those periods staring out the windscreen to see if things would change my four hours was over and I'd spent two of them on a short drive from Conder Green and a long wait at Bank End....Come in number four yer time's up!

And finally....

Gannet. Gary Jones.

One of Gary's many excellent Gannet shots taken on his recent visit to Bass Rock, this one taken with precision as the bird hits the water as it plunge dives for fish. Thanks for this Gary....much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Shaded broad-bar - very common where there is a lot of clover e.g. Heysham NR and often flushed during the day.

Adult Whitethroats without a classic grey head are hard/impossible to sex in the field (if not singing). Age - look at the iris as a starting point. Svennsson might be a good addition to your library - essentially a ringers tome but a lot of birders find it useful in these days of videograbs and excellent scopes


Pete Woodruff said...

Really appreciate the moth ID Pete and thank you.

The Whitethroat subject is excellent material for a future post on here.