Sunday, 22 December 2013

Ho ho ho... Merry Christmas!

Just thought I’d wish anyone who has time to read my blog a Happy Christmas! This was my only excuse to blog up until this morning. The last few weeks have been quiet and a bit samey as in more Med Gull ring sightings and other gulls etc. The was a brief Ring-billed Gull at Radipole (found by Dave Chown) a couple of weeks ago and had my camera been to hand it would have made a nice post but the camera was safely in the house whilst I was watching the bird. However, this morning I heard back about DNA results of a possible Siberian Chiffchaff that Steve Hales and myself trapped and ringed at Abbotsbury Swannery back last month. There was never much doubt about this bird as it was a cracker but always good to air on the side of caution hence we stuck with the possible or probably theory. Now the results are back we can call it a definite Siberian Chiffchaff cos that’s what it is.

So there we go, another year gone. Next year should be fun as I’m planning on doing a patch year list with the patch being Radipole Lake! Makes sense as I can see the site from my house... So if anyone see’s anything at Radipole which is vaguely interesting at the site please get in touch! I’ll even twitch a Treecreeper or Coal Tit.

Merry Christmas all! I’ll leave you with a pic of a Bearded Tit I took last week. Happy new year as well!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Penguin plus more gulls...

RSPB and RSPCA are often confused with each other. One does conservation and the other rescues animals but this confusion can often lead to some interesting things being brought into the Radipole visitor centre. In the past we’ve had Peregrine, Red-throated Diver, Shag, Buzzard plus an assortment of little birds and tons of pigeons! Thankfully there’s a local lady who’s willing to take on injured wildlife otherwise we’d be really stuck! Today’s surprise was a rather smart Guillemot which was picked up on Weymouth beach. We had one brought in a while ago but that one was identified as a Penguin before we obviously explained the difference! This one felt really skinny so is probably doomed but the RSPCA came along and took it off to their seabird centre up in Somerset. Best of luck mate!!

Gulls weren’t particularly numerous today at Radipole and the morning Med Gull flock was flushed by a Peregrine and didn’t come back. Got a load of ring number yesterday including a different Serbian bird to the one a few weeks ago plus two German birds amongst the usual French birds. Last week got one from Hungary which wasn’t my first from that country but a nice record none-the-less.

Herring Gulls were moving through in numbers today though and included a colour ringed bird from Norfolk.

Also picked up this interesting bird. Noticed this bird had plenty of white in the tip even when the wing was closed. Waited to while to get an open wing shot but got it in the end.

 Certainly not a south coast argenteus. I didn’t think the mantle was particularly darker than the rest of the Herring Gulls around but that wing tip pattern certainly suggests a more northern origin. Nice big white tip to the last primary plus a good size white spot on P9. Also fairly narrow back band on P6 where the back stops. Can I call this one an argentatus??

A good few years ago I went through a weird phase of photographing wing tips of adult Herring Gulls. This was during my gull discovery days when I knew a lot less about gull than what I do now. Got some really interesting wing tips though including this bird.

 Interestingly this bird didn’t have a noticeably darker mantle either but that wing tip is undoubtedly that of an argentatus. Wonder if I’ve been a bit caught up with the whole mantle thing? Might end up going through another phase of wing tip studying... Look out readers!! Hope something more interesting happens soon to stop me!