Thursday, 25 February 2010

After finishing the last of my winter tetrads around Causey Park Bridge I headed down to St Mary's Island to try and take some images of the long staying Water Pipit. Once again conspicuous by its absence I'm begiining to wonder if one of the locals just brings it down once a week and lets it have a little wander about before taking it back into hiding.
In poor light for a change it did give me the opportunity to have a look at the Rock Pipit about down there. Two-three were around the bay north of the causeway and as Mike Hodgson had highlighted in a conversation a few weeks back at least one of these was pale and less sullied looking than the typical petrosus. I found it interesting that once again this bird was the most aggressive, repeatedly chasing off one of the petrosus that came into the area around the gully, very similar behaviour to that displayed by the individual I photographed in January at Newbiggin that I believed to be littoralis.




Rock Pipit
This one looking very brown & worn around the remiges & tail feathers.


The paler individual with less sullied underparts and a hint of supercilium and brighter eye ring. Petrosus variation or littoralis?

I did find a nice Snow Bunting feeding around the path edge at the top of the causeway, I've not seen this bird reported at all so I'm not sure if it's new or just considered not newsworthy. It was reasonably confiding, although the best results were obtained by lieing down and waiting as usual, thankfully the dog walkers stayed away as there is nothing worse than suddenly attracting the attention of off the lead dogs whilst your trying your best to blend into the tarmac.


I called in at Blyth South Harbour on the way back north, nothing exciting, the Shed 17 wader roost was impressive with a c300 strong mixed flock of Dunlin & Ringed Plover about 70% Dunlin. A brief stop at Lynemouth Flash to look for Pipits, yielded only five Pied Wagtail. Cresswell Pond was full of water but a Barn Owl hunting in the early afternoon was added to the Self-found List to bring up the 100 for 2010. Never close and mist beginning to return a record shot was all that was possible.

7 comments:

James said...

Yeah, I wonder about Water Pipits sometimes... One gave me the run around at Fairburn Ings a few weeks ago.

Brian Robson said...

Think the Snow Buntings a recent arrival Alan, last ones i saw were late last year. I do wonder where the WP is spending its away days.

Stewart said...

Alan, why remiges but not rectrices? Did you forget :)

alan tilmouth said...

Not being a ringer I wouldnt normally use either Stewart but I thought listing the primaries, secondaries etc would be a little clunky and long-winded hence the use of the generic term remiges in this instance. Have I contravened some sort of freemason-like ringers code by only using one half of the double?

Stewart said...

Oh no not at all I was just intrigued as to why wings got the technical but the tail was just a tail...thats all. Even as a ringer, they weren't terms I ever used. Unless you are a museum worker with something to say about taxonomy, personally, I cant see the point. Wing feather tracts have names and a tail is just that, so why complicate things.

This also rings true for people who discuss 'taxa'. Why arent we happy with species? Things suddenly became 'taxa', a word unheard of to birders 20 years ago.

Sometimes these things whiff of pretention...

alan tilmouth said...

I don't see it as a complication just an evolution of language use, maybe I'm not as judgemental. Remiges isn't a term I use a great deal, in fact I think when I read it on another local blog (can't quite remember which one)a few months back I had to look up the definition ;)

Stewart said...

Aye maybe its best to stick with primaries, secondaries, tertials ' n that....