Sunday, 19 August 2012

Bird Behaviour.

Female Peregrine in flight
Peregrine Falcon Brian Rafferty

There is a brief account and photographs of a Peregrine Falcon behaving in an unbelievable way. I doubt if there could ever be a rational explanation for what we SEE HERE but mine is that it is an escaped captive bird and a hungry one at that.

I keep a book of personal records containing some remarkable bird behaviour seen on my travels, one of them is an account of a Spotted Redshank (SR) seen from the Eric Morecambe Hide at Leighton Moss in 1998 which I observed feeding alongside some Teal, the SR was noted to be upending immersing its head and neck, the Teal was obviously stirring up a food source and the SR was opportunistically taking advantage of this. I later found this behaviour of SR was known though I had never seen it myself before and not since.

Swallow David Cookson   

I'm quite sure much more will be known about the Swallow today than was the case when one was ringed as a nestling on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border at Low Bentham in August 1918. This individual was picked up dead in South Africa six months later in February 1919 and the aluminium ring was found to have the markings J.M.53 and an address in London, at the time this was the fourth Swallow to have been ringed in Great Britain and later found in South Africa. There is an interesting tale attached to this bird in that, the finding of it dead on a farm in South Africa had the natives all thinking the bird boded ill-luck for the farmer, and considered it to be a clear case of witchcraft for a bird to appear from nowhere with a ring round its leg and to alight on the farm. 

But theres always a record which stands out from all the rest and the one about a Manx Shearwater is one of them, it was the most remarkable 'homing experiment' of all at the time and probably still is.  

Manx Shearwater Dave Appleton  

An adult Manx Shearwater was taken from its burrow on Skokholm off Pembrokeshire, Wales, and conveyed to an airport, into the hold of a trans-atlantic aircraft, and on to Boston, USA were it was released. This truly amazing creature navigated across the featureless Atlantic Ocean in twelve days and was recorded as actually arriving back at the burrow on Skokholm before details of its release reached the island.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Bringing a smile to birding. 

An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler - a MEGA in any birders books - was reported yesterday morning in Fife, Scotland. No doubt the 'twitchers' were filling their tanks for the journey up to Scotland....but by the evening the bird had been re-identified as a Chiffchaff....Mmmmm!   


Warren Baker said...

A Chiffchaff!! Heh heh, there's hope for my ID skills after all then :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Don't worry you ID skills rank against the average as far as I can see on your website Warren. We all make mistakes, but there are a few out there who think they haven't and can't.