Sunday, April 12, 2009

A good bit of birding, in two parts

Feeling somewhat less lurgified than of late and having keen and raring to go Nick C staying, elected to head for one of my "undisclosed sites" this morning for some raptorial entertainment. On arriving at the spot and walking down the hill we both appeared to get on to the bird in front of us at about the same moment and without raising the bins, even at 50 metres, managed the correct id - Great Grey Shrike. Nice! The bird performed rather well for the next hour or so, out of proper photo range but good enough. But one surprise was not enough as raising the bins for the expected, the unexpected appeared, a very nice Red Kite, no wing tags and a missing secondary from its right wing. This did not hang around but once up and in the air went high and away to the east in about 10 minutes. The expected also performed rather nicely which added to the morning's quality.

The middle of the day was spent walking a ridge with the family, but despite high expectations raptorial views were of one brief and distant bird that disappeared too soon for id.

On returning home and brewing needed tea a knock on the door occurred. A neighbour with a bird they could not identify around their house. These being neighbours who know their birds an investigation seemed appropriate as the bird sounded as if it might be a Black Redstart. Small person assistant in tow and tea transferred to thermal cup and 15 minutes later I was watching a slightly elusive but very pleasing Black Redstart feeding around the neighbours' outbuilding.

The wing panel was less clear in the field, looks like this is a 1st summer male.


Warren Baker said...

Blimey, quite a day. I could only wish for birds of that quality!

Warren Baker said...

Hi Alastair,
Me again! thanks for your thoughts on the Willow/chiff. I went for willow, on the leg colour and primary projection, but you can never 100%. Ive had a willow in the hand and couldn't decide - until i checked that there was no emargination of the 6th primary!