Sunday, 4 December 2011

At it again!

Updating that keep the blog breathing, with only a little advance in the change of circumstances which - as you will already know if you follow Birds2blog - has brought my birding life to a grinding halt for the time being and also reduced the blog to a skeleton.

If your in the camp that gets fed up of hearing me going on about 'shooting birds for fun' or 'slaughtering them as pests' then perhaps you'd better move on. If you're staying there's some brilliant photographs and a little info on some of the birds which have recently advanced my passion for them a little further.  

The Blue-winged Teal breeds over much of North America and being a long distance migrant and 'summer duck' is very much the equivalent of the Garganey. The pattern of appearances in the British Isles is complicated by escapes, but a ringing recovery from New Brunswick in 1971 in Suffolk proved conclusive  that there are genuine vagrants, this individual was ringed as a juvenile in Canada. But there's a sting in the tail of this little piece about the species in that I recently read someone had cause to make the comment that it was a worry when people with guns can't identify birds. Sadly it looks like someone in Ireland lived up to this worry when a Blue-winged Teal was shot on 10 November at Upper Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh.

I throw my chances of the popular vote to the wind as I have no desire to gain popularity when it comes to the shooting fraternity, therefore I'm always ready to oppose and 'shout my mouth off' about those who shoot birds for fun, but this time I'll resist the temptation to launch into a vitriolic attack on them. Incidentally, there's a petition regarding the fight against raptor persecution and those who slaughter them as pests which I was going to put on Birds2blog but find it's on other blogs and websites for you to sign. There's a link to the petition and a small taste of discussion on the subject HERE 

On a lighter note there's a nice little video of the Blue-winged Teal HERE

Of course any post on Birds2blog wouldn't be complete without at least one or two excellent photographs so try these....

Buzzard. Gary Jones

The Buzzard was taken on one of Gary's many visits to the Lakes where he does some of his mountaineering and where others fear to tread judging by the dramatic photography he achieves whilst up there....visit his website and see for yourself....there's a good example of his latest 'adventure' in Wales HERE

Merlin. Paul Foster

My most favourite bird of prey the Merlin, taken by Paul on a Hebrides adventure he had earlier this year....please take a look at his blog.

Eastern Black Redstart. Marc Heath

Marc recently encountered this Eastern Black Redstart at Margate in Kent, the bird represents the first confirmed record of this form in Britain. Below is a video of another one recently on Holy Island, Northumberland.

Desert Wheatear. Mike Watson

Here's another 'goodie' to have turned up in the country this autumn, the smart little male Desert Wheatear seen and photographed by Mike on his visit to Bempton Cliffs on Yorkshires east coast in November. Interesting that the species was once classed as a member of the Thrush family but is now more generally considered to be an Old World Flycatcher. The first Lancashire record of the species was of one found 20 years ago at Rossall Point, Fleetwood in November 1991. The first for Britain was 111 years earlier at Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland in November 1880. There was an interesting Desert Wheatear trapped at Landguard, Suffolk, in October 1987 which subsequently moved overnight c.270 miles south-west to Devon. This bird clearly illustrated that what might appear to be unrelated vagrants may involve the same birds moving around the country and appears to confirm the suspicion that autumn vagrants arriving on the east coast tend to filter south-westwards. It is also an indication of the kind of distances many migrants may fly in one night. 

Laughing Falcon. Colin Bushell

And another little beauty, this one seen by Colin on his visit to Colombia. The Laughing Falcon is also called the Snake Hawk, erroneously since its not a hawk at all, though it is a specialist snake eater. 

The video's good....though you do need your speakers plugged in to get the full effect and hear the bird laughing.

Thanks to Garry, Mark, Paul, Mike, and Colin for these brilliant images, and many thanks to all those visitors to Birds2blog - old and new - who still look in despite the 'bare bones' about it at the moment....I really appreciate you. Also a special thanks to all those who took time to comment on 'Closing Down' and later on 'Delighted with my failure'....these were some welcome comments which I noted and much appreciated.

There's a lot going on in the birding world both here and afar but didn't want to 'overload' the post....perhaps later.



Christian said...

Fantastic images Pete. I love the Merlin and I didn't even know a Laughing Falcon existed!

Rohrerbot said...

I've never seen a laughing falcon before....looks like an incredible bird in the wild. The videos are great. I've just started birding and it has been a lot of fun. Love the shots.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Pete,
I as you know, agree with all your anti shooting rants - long may they continue. I keep signing those petitions :-)

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Good to see you are at it again and providing your fellow bloggers with lots of interesting information.
Hope your circumstances continue to change and that you are soon back up to full steam.
Thanks for the black redstart and take care.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Glad to see you're back Pete - hope all is well
Don't get me started on the pillard that shot a mute swan - surely he could ID one of those???? Obviously not!!!