Monday, 3 December 2012

Out For The Count.

Peregrine Falcon Phillip Tomkinson 

An encounter with a Peregrine Falcon the last time I was at Glasson Dock, illustrated something which has me always asking questions about counting birds and how the results can add up to anything resembling accuracy.

On this visit I had decided - by way of a change - to try to get some figures regarding species and numbers on the Lune Estuary from the viewpoint by the bowling green. I've spent endless hours here over the years and today was no exception. I had gathered what I thought were some interesting and conclusive records following something like an hours observations during which I had reckoned up to 6,000 waders were present on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, when I picked up a distant raptor identified by the birds flight and speed, by the time this bird had reached the sights of the waders I had meticulously counted, the inevitably panic set in and, surprise, surprise, another half the number of birds I had thought were viewable in this area had taken to the wing en mass and up to 9,000 were now in the air turning my reasonably  'accurate' count into a complete nonsense, no matter how much longer I had spent here I would have never been able to see another 3,000 birds hidden from view....until a Peregrine Falcon came on the scene.

On the subject of counting birds, I recently saw a report of 18,981 Pink-footed Geese somewhere in the country at present. Now Pink-footed Geese are big birds so maybe no question of missing the odd one or two, but take another look at the figure 18,981....Have I taken serious someone having a joke!! 

And the pic....

Barn Owl Christian Thompson 

Photographically this image of the Barn Owl is brilliant, composition is excellent, the eye follows the fence in the bottom left half of the frame diagonally towards the bird in the top right half of the frame, and the subject isn't posing for the photograph taking on a natural look as it looks backwards in its search for prey....Great stuff Christian, and thanks. 


Sharon Whitley said...

Haha I've thought that a number of times when I've seen similar figures recorded and wondered how on earth anyone can claim to be that accurate! Absolutely beautiful photo of the barn owl!

Alan Pavey said...

Nice post and a couple of great pics :-)

Warren Baker said...

Well its all guestimation Pete, I cant even tell for sure how many Blue Tits are in my garden at any one time :-)

Noushka said...

Nice post indeed!
you are truly passionate! ;-)
You've picked 2 great photos anyone would be proud of taking!
Well done guys!

Pete Woodruff said...


I try to reply to comments if only to say....Thank You.