Saturday, 20 March 2010

Snab Scandy

With the first migrants seemingly on the doorstep I was hopeful that today would see some new additions for the year, I did succeed in adding a new bird but not till darkness had almost fallen. Another pond tour this morning brought little of note anywhere, a stiff breeze seemed to be keeping heads down and nothing new could be found at any of the locations visited.
On the way home I stopped at Bothal and scanned through the corvid flocks in the sheep field as I have done regularly this winter predominantly to look for nominate monedula Jackdaw. Once again drew a blank but the leucistic individual below was new perhaps showing that the flock isn't just made up of residents? (If anyone wants to claim this individual for an earlier date please let me know).

Late afternoon after the breeze had dropped I headed back out, news of the first Sand Martins of the year spurring me on. After more blanks at local ponds I ended up at Snab Point with a high tide pushing right up to the banks. Huge banks of seaweed have been pushed up at the southern end of the beach north of the point so I headed along the stones in search of Pipits. A pair of Mallard fed with Black-headed Gulls close in as the waves crashed at the seaweed presumably releasing Inverts into the sea that could be picked at, first time I've seen Mallard feeding this way.
On the East coast with a 25ft cliff between the setting sun and me the light was dismal, I ended up at ISO1600 and 1/80 trying to get anything at all tonight. Five Rock Pipit were present, at least one was littoralis but I have a suspicion that there were more. They were reasonably confiding as I squeezed my way gingerly up onto the seaweed mound, not sure what lay beneath my feet in the way of solidity. At one point I looked down and noticed some sort of bedraggled corpse inches from my feet and the smell was none too pleasant either. All five Pipits took to the air after a while and started heading out to sea before turning back, I thought at that point that they may well depart but perhaps it was just a pre-roost wing stretching exercise.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit A.p. littoralis

Look how strong the supercilum looks from this angle!

The last hour of light provided me with a chance to go looking for Owls with some success, a pair of Long-eared Owl in suitable breeding habitat were seen briefly and back in the car after a 1mile circuit in darkness a roadside post topped with Barn Owl provided a good end to a largely underwhelming day.

1 comment:

James said...

Maybe a hooded jackdaw? C.m.tilmouthi