Saturday, November 14, 2009

Twitch on!

Red-footed falcon (1K) - present since the 7th, this is a late bird and is mostly eating worms at the moment. I threw a juicy worm in its direction from the car, but the photo-gang arrived and scared it off... There are lots of good photographs of this bird on the net, this is not one of them!

Mrs B said she wanted to go and see the red-footed falcon today, so we went on a family twitch. Now normally I would avoid this, our success rate twitching as a team in Sweden is low (about 20%) but today we did surprisingly well. Having found the site for the falcon, a mere 45 minutes from home, we pulled into a layby to work out where the bird was, only to discover it was perched 20 feet away and the camera was in the back of the car. I dispatched Number 1 to climb into the back and fetch it, but the bird sussed us and flew off. We got good views in the next half hour but never got as close again.

Next stop was Lomma, where the educational [citrine?] wagtail was performing to a small audience along the beach. We got great views and heard the bird calling at one point when Number 3 screamed too loudly. Nipped over to Alnarpsparken late in the day hoping for Swedish tick number 3 (short-toed treecreeper) but failed as did the light. Getting two Swedish ticks is pretty exciting though, but back to the patch for me.

Most of Sweden is happy (after much debate) that this is indeed a citrine wagtail, the problems being that it lacks a good complete pale ear-covert surround and has a yellow base to the lower mandible, hardly a typical bird. The pale base to the lower mandible is the only strong yellow wagtail feature though, the rest suggests citrine (albeit poorly in the case of the ear-coverts). 1K citrine's in early November might be expected to be showing a bit of yellow in the head plumage too by now, but heigh-ho. The call sounded pukka to me though and so on balance I join the citrine camp. This bird was found on the last day of October and then went missing till the 7th, since then it has been showing well. [KMO in Denmark has since put forward the theory that this bird is a citrinexyellow wagtail hybrid, an identification that fits the bird better I think (in hindsight!)].

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil,

    I see KMO thinks this bird could be a hybrid Citrine/Yellow Wagtail.. See

    If it hangs around I might come over and have a look... (combined with the Steppe Eagle, it'll make a good trip)