Sunday, October 14, 2012

woodlark

Terrible weather over the weekend but we dashed out at midday for a quick walk locally, the easy highlight being a flyover woodlark at Salomonhög, a BK year-tick no less.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

all white? yeah I'm all white!

The great white buzzard of BK. This bird has been around for over 12 years now and it always amazes me how seldom I see it!

Worked quite hard today with little reward. Kicked off near Grevie kyrkby by having a look at the splendid leucistic buzzard that lives in these parts. Just a little brown on the nape, otherwise clean white. 

Spent two hours working the woods along the shoreline at Segelstorpsstrand. Bumped into a big flock of 40+ goldcrests and had one chiffchaff. Plenty of tits about too with 8+ long-tailed tits indicative of some movement (457 through Kullen this morning!!) and a few thrushes around too including my first redwing of the season. But I could not find anything good, just two grey wagtails to write about.

Tried Öllövsstrand next but same result here, the best bird a male blackcap, although a flock of 60+ tree sparrow, with a good number of chaffinch and brambling was nice to see.

After lunch I decided to try the stubble south of Klarningen, but a good boot around reveal a dearth of birds, just a few meadow pipits, reed buntings and skylarks. The flooded pools had ruff (1) and golden plover (2) and these attracted the attentions of a peregrine at one point, resulting in a tense three minute chase that had me on the edge of my seat. From the tower things looked quiet with wigeon (55), teal (55) and shoveler (3) the best of it. The lone shelduck remains on station, must be damaged.

Last stop of the day was a sunny Eskilstorpsstrand which produced four white-fronted geese and two long-tailed ducks. Winter is upon us...

One of two grey wagtails at Segelstorpsstrand this morning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

seawatching with the kids

With school closed for yesterday and a good NW wind on the go, we all packed into the car and headed for Yttre Kattvik mid-morning. Busy here with plenty of observers to go round and not much got past unnoticed I reckon. Plenty of birds going past too for a change. Highlights included; black-throated diver (1), fulmar (5), gannet (30), peregrine (1), great skua (1), little gull (4) and best of all a single puffin scuttling low over the waves on it's way west.

After three hours the kids had exhausted all the in-car entertainment they could dream up and I moved to Kattvik for another 1.5 hours where they could muck about outside without annoying the rarities committee. There was a great skua loafing offshore but things had quietened down at this point. Rather nice though was a 1K Caspian gull resting offshore, perhaps the same one as reported yesterday, although several were reported on the seawatch too. Five barn swallows fed around my head and a chiffchaff called in the trees nearby. A great day in the field with the kids with three BK year-ticks under the belt.

Things are looking a bit Siberian, so tomorrow will see me once again attempting to find a BK yellow-browed warbler...

Monday, October 8, 2012

another half-hour at Klarningen

Ignoring the stream of good seabirds reported during the day I knuckled down and got my tour report finished off and all the other miscellaneous paperwork done. Then I did the weekly shop, stopping on the way back to enjoy the guilty pleasures of half an hour at Klarningen when I should have been seawatching. Nothing wind-blown to report at a rather quiet site today.

The access road had the best of it with a dunlin and a ruff amongst the small pools on the fields and a large flock of 400+ chafflings (about 50:50 chaffinch/brambling). Looks very good for the booting up Lapland buntings - perhaps later in the week... Fifty teal were new in but the wigeon flock has declined to 33. Tomorrow the weather looks good for seawatching so I may get some seabirds in after all.

05102012

It is almost a week since I returned from Mexico and I am struggling to recall a worse reaction to jetlag than the last seven days. Just managed to get my tour paperwork done today and little birding has taken place since I got back. I did get out briefly on the 5th and had half an hour at Klarningen.

A few duck about with one gadwall and nine shoveler looking good alongside a flock of 50 wigeon. A nice female hen harrier rounded off the experience and it was evident that passerines were on the move, plenty of skylark and meadow pipits calling overhead.

new to science?

 Could it be new?

I took this shot of a gomphid along the river deep in the Batopilas Canyon on my recent trip to Mexico, it mystified me (admittedly that's not too unusual). It looked like a Stylurus but my reference list of the dragonflies of Chihuahua and Sinaloa (re-worked from one of Dennis Paulson's online publications) listed no species of that genus in the region.  When I got back home I sent the image to the very same Dennis Paulson - the North American odo-guru.

Dennis responded "It looks much like Stylurus olivaceus, but there are no records of that species from Mexico. The thoracic pattern is different enough, however, that I hesitate to call it olivaceus, especially as it would be a first record for the country. In addition, and this is probably even more important, the closest record of olivaceus is many hundreds of miles away (far from the US/Mexican border), so the probability of it being that species seems very low. There is a definite possibility of an undescribed species."

Now we just need someone to go and collect one so I can add it to my list! Although it has to be said we had to endure a rather tense roadside interview with some heavily-armed narco-gangsters to get to the site two week ago...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

horny


The semi-desert NW of Chihuahua was kind to us on the last day of the tour, whilst I looked out for birds one of the clients (thank you Ann) found no less than two species of horned-lizard for us. Above is the rather splendid Texan horned-lizard (Phyrnosoma cornutum) and below the rather more subtle round-tailed horned-lizard (Phyrnosoma modestum).