Galana

Mfuwe's Year.

212 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Looks like a bird a day might keep the blues away.

First what I hope is an improvement on 165 Carrion Crow.

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00-165 Carrion Crow. Ballaghennie, IOM.

and

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170. European Collared Dove. Ballaghennie, IOM

 

 

Edited by Galana
Numerical correction.
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Two more although one is dependent on you the Jury.

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171. Shags.  Maughold Head. IOM

And I hardly dare show this:-

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172. European Sparrowhawk. Soaring over Maughold Broughs. IOM. I DID have closer views as it crossed the road mobbed by Swallows..

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The sparrowhawk is interesting. By coincidence we were just trying to work out if a bird that flew very high over our house was a sparrowhawk - and my photos are inconclusive at the moment. (It probably flew over our garden just as you were posting this!)

However, you are a much better birder than me, and if you saw it closer and know it was a sparrowhawk, then that is good enough for me:) (Though a jury usuall has more than one person!)

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It's probably no help whatsoever @TonyQ and @Galana but sparrowhawk trailing wings seem to have an S shape which is how I recognize them along with the long tail and when not soaring or hunting the flap flap glide style of flying they seem to adopt.the picture which looks like one I could easily have taken looks like a sparrowhawk to me!

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3 hours ago, TonyQ said:

then that is good enough for me:)

Too kind. But yes. It was a Sparrowhawk. You know how it is when driving and you see a bird. Brakes on, car coming the other way etc., Naked eye was quick but getting the camera out and working eats the margin. Fortunately it decided to soar with wings out so I gave it a go by focussing on the hillside and fired.

Good luck with yours.

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@Towlersonsafari You type faster than I. but yes the trailing edge is often a give away (when they stick around long enough to see it!!:o)

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A couple more and another teaser.

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173. Mistle Thrush.    Sandygate. IOM.

 

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174. Magpie. (Eurasian or Black-billed.)  Sulby.  IOM.

 

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So what is the soaring bird above the Raven? Not for a point just for your amusement.

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Very good Mistle Thrush - I never manage to get close enough for a decent shot. Judging by your last tricks I guess the soaring bird is not a bird :-)

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Kite??

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You are fair motoring in your additions! 

 

Mystery bird isn't a Black-headed Gull by chance:rolleyes:, it looks pretty heavily built I'd go for Peregrine.

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@michael-ibk  Not a bird? Even I would not stoop that low. well maybe not??^_^

@xelas A Kite? Black or Red or a kiddy's on a string?

@Dave Williams NOT a BH or any other Gull. My take is on Peregrine too but I will not count it as it could just be another Raven.

Motoring is the operative word. I did over twenty miles today to bag those two. Why is it that so called 'common' birds can be so damned hard to find when you are looking for them and Magpies so shy? Of course my real target (Hen Harrier) was even further out of usable range. Nice male too.

A few more 'locals' to come I think.

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@Galana With those wings it's 99% Peregrine to me. I see them over our house at similar height and that shot is exactly what I see!

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2 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

With those wings it's 99% Peregrine to me.

@Dave Williams I have to agree that that is the most likely call. However I am not going to count it. I scraped in with the Sparrowhawk yesterday which I HAD Id first prior to the shot. This bird just appeared in the viewfinder whilst I was seeking something else and it was only apparent when I got home what I had 'probably' missed. Thanks for your understanding.

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It's getting tougher with these overlooked locals. How hard IS it to get a Woodpigeon to sit still?

However after a blank day yesterday (for photographs) two offered themselves today less than 800 yards from home. In fact is was really two for the price of one. Stopped for the goose and saw the cormorant.

 

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175. Canada Goose.    Ramsey Harbour. IOM.

 

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176. Cormorant. Ramsey Harbour. IOM.

Unless I get lucky with a few more regulars such as Wood Pigeon, Gold Crest, Hen Harrier, Kestrel and Peregrine etc., I am going to be stuck until our winter visitors arrive in November. It looks like I need a trip to Africa.

 

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2 minutes ago, Galana said:

 

 It looks like I need a trip to Africa.

 

 

Always recommended @Galana

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I don't want to turn this into a Blog but shall share something of today's outing which was in search of Raptors and ended rather sadly.

First the good news. Strong winds during a half hours Sea Watch made life difficult while hoping for Skuas and Shearwaters but I did manage to tease out  female Common Guillemot and her 'chick' from amongst the foaming brine.

 

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177. Common Guillemot.

 

And sadly whilst the rules don't seem to forbid it:-

 

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00. A dead Hen Harrier. A sad end to a noble and endangered bird.

No obvious gunshot, the head is there just lying back. Our local Wildlife Warden attended and an autopsy will be done.

It was near a road and roadkill cannot be ruled out but  a preliminary inspection showed no broken bones. He was a young bird of this year but very malnourished and may just have starved to death for some reason.  There was 'growth inhibition' damage on the tail feathers indicating that food was short even when still in the nest. Maybe he was never going to make it! It does happen. He could also have been taken out by one of our local Peregrines. I will advise on the autopsy later but that is one tick still missing from my list..

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Sad. Thanks for sharing.

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A sad sight

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I wish more was done to promote Hen Harrier conservation , instead we have had them hunted to near extinction by those wishing to protect their lucrative grouse moors. There should be room for both.

 

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2 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

There should be room for both

I totally agree. What is happening in UK is deplorable. UK Government inaction on this matter is inexcusable.

I can update on this casualty.

Xrays revealed no sign of gunshot.

The bird was very malnourished even when in the nest. The breast bone was very protruding and for some reason the tips of the primary feathers had snapped off. We believe it was grounded and killed by either peregrine or short-eared owl (marks on tertiary feathers of right wing are consistent with claw marks of bird of prey). An SE Owl was suspect number one on a male fatality last year.

The corpse will be added to a DNA database project currently being run for all British Hen Harriers by Lancaster University.

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Another quiet day photography wise and although I did see a very much alive Ringtail Hen Harrier and some 'autumn' Wheatears with many Gannets feasting on Mackerel

 

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00. No score.

and

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178. my sole progress was the humble Wood Pigeon (Ring Dove)..Why is it that so called 'easy' birds rarely are?

 

 

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Very quiet week if you ignore the racket from Grand Prix bikes with not much to add from fairly fruitless expeditions so here are two 'no score' repeats in a more natural setting perched in a tree rather than steel cables.

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00/170. European Collared Dove.  Ballaghennie,  and.....

 

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00/178. Wood Pigeon or Ring Dove.  Ballaghennie.

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Now for a discussion on Ethics and competition 'rules'.

What can be counted and what cannot? I would suggest that the birds must be free-winged and not kept in enclosures of any kind (so that rules out Granny's (Tanny's)  African Grey Parrot in the sitting room :wacko:)

But where do we fit in the rest? The edges get distinctly blurred somewhere between a zoo or collection exhibit and the introduced Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasanius colchicus) that the Roman's brought to Britain. Red-legged Partridges (Alectoris rufa) have been around the British Isles for maybe 400 years now and escapes such as Mandarins (Aix galericulata) and Carolina Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) are well established in the wild. Southern England has its plague of Ring-necked Parakeets (Psittacula kramerii) and southern Spain has its Lovebirds. @Dave Williams  I won't even mention the Eurasian Eagle Owls that keep cropping up except to advise another successful fledging this year.

Has anyone put up a Feral Pigeon yet?

My interest was stimulated by two encounters this morning so what do people think?

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Is this 179?  Indian Peafowl. Quite well established in the wild here since released by a local Banker about 30 years ago.

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I show the site as quite unfenced and the birds are free winged and not attached to any territory. Bride IOM.

 

Now these I won't even suggest we count as whilst free-range (and tasty) they are obviously from domestic stock and localised to the nearby farm.

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Helmeted Guinea Fowl?

 

And talking of feral populations there is no need to go to Tasmania:_

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Red-necked Wallaby. There are around 200 from an original escape of maybe ten or so in 1990ish and obviously breeding.

And I do know they are not birds but they are wild and very cute and the photos were taken this year!

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@Galana

I think that if a population is living wild and is breeding, then I would probably count it. I have certainly counted Feral Pigeon and Pheasant (though I didn't count a Golden Pheasant, beautiful though it was, as I knew it had escaped from a local farm). The only Peacocks I have seen in the UK  have been captive - even though roaming about.  I didn't know there were any living as wild. If I saw a Ring-necked Parakeet (some do live locally) then I would count it.

 

I think really it is down to you to decide. I suspect that we will not be challenging the leaders this year, and if you end up with one more bird than me, I promise not to sue you:)

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Posted (edited)

I have submitted the rose-ringed Parakeet, and will most likely also submit the Common Mynah, both of which are introduced species.

 

@Dave Williams has shown us beautiful shots of the Common Starling murmeration which i believe is also an introduced species where his photos were taken.

 

So, right or wrong, you will be in company.

 

On the other hand, i will not include anything in a cage, even those naturally uccurring where the cage is located, nor the trained local raptors i observed at a rehabilitation centre earlier this year, and think zoo birds are not acceptable here.

 

I also doubt i will be posting any shots of chickens...

Edited by Peter Connan
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