Thursday, 26 May 2011

Wiggle it, just a little bit

Displaying Wood Whites from Steve Blain on Vimeo.

Spent a great few hours looking for these chaps in Northants last weekend. Wood Whites at Salcey Forest. The male does a great little display over the female - it wiggles its antennae and shakes its proboscis over the head of the female while occasionally flicking its wings. Totally absorbing to watch.

Spotted in Milton Keynes

Spotted Sandpiper at Caldecote Lake, Milton Keynes from Steve Blain on Vimeo.

A lovely local bird, just a shame it was in Bucks. Wonder where it is now?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Rare breeder

You don't see many of these in the UK, but can anyone tell me what it is? The only clues I'll give you are that it was bred in Bedfordshire, and there are usually less than ten breeding pairs in the UK...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Coot it be magic?

It always pays to be vigilant. This colour-ringed Coot was on a drain next to a main path around Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB reserve. CV was originally ringed on 26th October 2005 at Radipole Lake in Dorset. It hadn't been reported anywhere other than there (but last seen 20th December 2010) until I found it at Fen Drayton on 24th April 2011!

Apparently its only the second colour-ringed Coot that has been recorded in East Anglia from Radipole, with the other turning up on the Orwell Estuary in Suffolk.

Many thanks to Terry Coombs and the Radipole Ringing Group for all the information.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Yellow bunting

This Yellowhammer was holding territory at Broom GP earlier in the spring. It's interesting rufous moustascial stripe reminded me of some photographs I'd seen on Martin Garners blog here. However, looking through Google Images, this is perhaps just natural variation in male Yellowhammer plumage?

Monday, 16 May 2011

It's a mystery

It's a mystery who posted this on my car windscreen while I was at Broom GP this lunchtime. I hope they weren't trying to tell me something...

A dead ringer

Not actually dead, but a close call for a drake Ring-necked Duck. This bird is a hybrid Ring-necked Duck x Tufted Duck, Dunstable Sewage Works, 15th May 2011.

On first glance it shows the sweeping grey flanks, white edged base and ring to the bill, and the high crown of a Ring-necked, but look a bit closer and thing don't start to add up
  • The 'high crown' becomes a bit of a tuft
  • the sweeping grey flanks aren't sweeping enough, and don't end with a clear white stripe towards its chest
  • The bill pattern isn't strong enough, with a very weak sub-terminal band and white basal surround
  • A green sheen to the head

There are some good comparison photos on Flickr here, on RadioactiveRobins here, on Dave Browns blog here, and on the Birdwatch Irelands website here.

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