Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why don't the BOU accept Ruddy Shelduck onto cat. A of the British list?

It's what every keen lister is asking. I bet you're asking the same question right now. Well, here's why...
Stood in the captive pen area at Martin Mere WWT - looking at a drake Redhead in with the captive(!) Pochards and watching a Chestnut Teal shagging the arse off a female Red-crested Pochard... with another fem R-c. P. waiting in the wings for a piece of the action once the teal was finished with the first bird - this flew in, to join the captive birds.

Notice the word flew - that's because it had all its primaries. And notice also the lack of any metal wear on the bird's legs.

We all know that wild birds do come in and feed around the captive areas - the place is full of Common Shelducks - but really, would you be able to put a convincing argument forward for this bird being wild...? The problem really arises though when the bird decides to fly off again and turns up at someone's God-forsaken local patch or at somewhere like Cley or Minsmere. It will be unringed and fullly winged and, at the end of the day, that's all most people need to make good enough to count as a wild bird. It will be reported to the pagers, people will go and look at it, everyone will comment how "good" it is, and no one will understand why it couldn't have just flown in from Turkey. Maybe wild birds do get here, but how ya gonna make sure they're not on from a wildfowl collection that escaped the primary clippers...?

^Interspecies duck action

^If this was on a pond in Kent people would twitch it

More dodgy wildfowl was on the mere in the form of this Ferruginous Duck x Pochard hybrid.

Apart from that there was very little else of note. Still lots of Whooper Swans and the usual collection of (wild) ducks, and a pair of Peregrines hunting together over the fields.


^Everything you need to ID a pair of Eurasian Teal

^ Peregines

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday 13th

Unlucky for some. Irrelevant for others.
It was a niiice high tide at Frodsham with lots of waders pushed onto number 6. Only four species though: lots of Golden Plovers, Lapwings, and Dunlin, and a couple of Ruff. Nothing in with them, despite searching, except for this unusually coloured Lapwing.

A Whooper Swan on the Weaver Bend was looking a bit worse for wear.

The only other entertainment on offer was a flock of Fieldfare around the far end of number 5 at dusk.

Ooooh OGCs...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pennington Flash

Home of (psuedo)rare wildfowl. The non-canadensis Canada Goose was still hanging around, now seemingly paired up with a Greylag... That could have some interesting results!

Birders call the left bird "Taverner's"; the French call the right bird "paté".

Nineteen Goosander, including 11 drakes, were in the bay beyond the shingle spit.

Erm, look at the left bird though. Is that a dark bar at the base of the secondaries I see?

It's a good job is has a fat head and (erm, relatively?) pointed feathering at the base of the bill... Or maybe it's just shadow... I've had too much Garner in my life, clearly.

At the feeding station, a female Brambling was a nice surprise, especially since supporting Fringilla cast consisted of a single male Chaffinch. A few Bullfinches put in an appearance but no sign of any Willow Tit. Most numerous bird by far though was the Robin- there were up to 15 of them at the feeding station at any one time!

100% Robin.