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Mongolia (again)

Posted on September 6, 2007 at 5:46 AM Comments comments (0)

http://temujin.over-blog.com/

The French put us to shame again, drive a transit van all the way to Mongolia, skor really heavily and just to get some comedy shots crash it in the middle of nowhere....

Brown Hawk-mega

Posted on September 4, 2007 at 8:52 AM Comments comments (0)

We often ask ourselves why we don't live in Alaska, guiding vagrant-finding bird tours in the spring and autumn, working on the king-crab boats in winter and fighting Polar Bears in our spare time.

The discovery of this ought to clinch the decision to leave sunny Norwich....

http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/BrownHawkOwl.html

Brown Hawk Owl

�Jake Mohlmann

Brown Hawk-mega

Posted on September 4, 2007 at 8:52 AM Comments comments (0)

We often ask ourselves why we don't live in Alaska, guiding vagrant-finding bird tours in the spring and autumn, working on the king-crab boats in winter and fighting Polar Bears in our spare time.

The discovery of this ought to clinch the decision to leave sunny Norwich....

http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/BrownHawkOwl.html

Brown Hawk Owl

?Jake Mohlmann

celebrity garden bird deathmatch

Posted on July 26, 2007 at 3:28 PM Comments comments (0)

found this on you-tube...

possibly the stupidest think trying to pass for wildlife television there has ever been, notwithstanding the fact that they made a whole program out of these match-ups.

However it did give us an idea, we at punkbirder are offering the nucleus of our idea "celebrity garden bird deathmatch" to a major cgi-based production company. Some might say that the only avian fights worth watching would be Phillipine Eagle vs Harpy or that old chestnut Southern vs Northern Giant Petrel. We believe however that cgi entertainment in the form of a Dunnock ripping the head off a Robin can't be beaten....

 

Bushbirds

Posted on May 22, 2007 at 9:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Batara � bec retrouss� (Clyctoctantes alixii)

Photo: Adriana Tovar / Luis Eduardo Urue�a / ProAves

1st photos of Recurve-billed Bushbird (Clytoctantes alixii), online here . Grip-mungus, with Rondonia Bushbird now available too, the number of big rediscoveries to be made in the neotropics is declining...

Lost and found

Alex

Bushbirds

Posted on May 22, 2007 at 9:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Batara ? bec retrouss? (Clyctoctantes alixii)

Photo: Adriana Tovar / Luis Eduardo Urue?a / ProAves

1st photos of Recurve-billed Bushbird (Clytoctantes alixii), online here . Grip-mungus, with Rondonia Bushbird now available too, the number of big rediscoveries to be made in the neotropics is declining...

Lost and found

Alex

no drift?

Posted on May 1, 2007 at 10:26 AM Comments comments (0)

WARNING -the following contains some geeky non-humorous crap about bird migration that is likely to be of no interest to anyone - if you're looking for entertainment go read the Mckinney

Ok, we've currently got a big easterly wind blowing and an east coast completely devoid of wrynecks, red-backed shrikes, bluethroats or even any scandi migrants whatsoever. Granted, there's a few overshooting megas about, but where are the passerines? What's happened to the once-glorious east coast? Those of you who are thinking "it's far too early for all that mega May fall stuff you ponce" - go and read DIMW's account of the May1st fall at Flamborough in Discover Birds, or the look up the great May 3rd 1968 mega fall on Fair Isle (complete with 30 Ortolans which, for all you kid listers, is a pretty cute little chaffinchy thing that used to occur at Spurn, but is now globally extinct).

So why no fall of drift migrants? Lack of rain, allowing everything to slip past overhead? No, don't think so. There would be at least a smattering of birds hitting the coast and making landfall. And there's really absolutely naff all...

Check out the current weather map:

Forecast pressure for Europe (West and Canary Islands)

What's the problem? Maybe it's the big front over France / Italy, blocking everything to the south of us. But surely a few birds will have made it far enough to be drifted by those nifty isobars? And what about stuff from a bit further east?

Here's my best guess. Compare the above with the map below, which is for 8th May 2004, the day before a big arrival of RBShrikes, Wrynecks etc right down the east coast (esp. Lincs northwards):

(Pyked from http://www.wetterzentrale.de, thanks)

The overall wind direction was similar to the current situation, and the weather on the near continent wasn't that great (that's a low directly over the Netherlands). Why did so many good migrants get drifted? The main difference I can see is that the strongest easterlies on that day were over the eastern North Sea and the Baltic. At the moment, our easterlies are blowing over land - Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Birds flying over land on the continent might be able to use reference features (esp. the dirty great N Sea coastline) to realise when they are being drifed, and therefore they can stop or compensate. Once they are out over the sea, however, it's much harder for them to realise the drift is happening, and they end up in Blighty. 

So maybe we need our current easterlies to go a bit further north, and catch those migrants heading northwards over the sea, rather than those currently moving up the seabord. Or maybe I'm talking complete bollox.

Anyone have any helpful ideas / insights / evidence? There must be plenty of wise experienced types out there, who understand these things better than us lousy youfs? Please get in contact. The best replies will recieve a free badge and subscription to the North Sea Bird Club. (proof of current job on oilrig is required for latter offer).

JG

no Spring in our Steppe (yet)

Posted on April 26, 2007 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I almost phased this week, then I found this website:

http://birdsmongolia.blogspot.com/

How mega is Mongolia? Whats not to like about White-backed Peckers eating bones in the middle of the street....

Results of the analysis by Collinson et al., of reciprocal playback experiments of ramstein and scooter on the reported campus Phyllopneuste brehmii will be published on our online journal soon.

Alex

Posted on March 2, 2007 at 11:59 AM Comments comments (0)

This weekend will see every tom, dick and harriet heading west to Kernow (probably via South Wales) to see some Pacfic NW dross with a high Arctic supporting cast. Chances are a displacement of birders on this scale will also produce several other bonus rares. So what will the team do? Every time a Gyr gets reported anywhere I get a knot (C. canutus) in my small intestine, I even once wrote a naff article in Birdwatch about not seeing Gyrs. Chances are we'll skor in Finland/Arctic Norway this summer but that won't be of the cosmic Greenland flavour. I?ve seen Yellow-billed Loon, they are great birds but?I also missed the boat on the Pacific Loons - well to be fair I turned down a lift but maybe I'll regret this on my deathbed....

 

My latest best accessory is my "what would Garry do" bracelet, under the circumstances I think I know what Gary would do, but the problem is the highlight of the twitch is likely to be something funny that happens in a service station carpark somewhere. The Pac Loon will either have gone or will be 3km offshore and even if I see the Gyr I'll probably have to get into an argument with some full-time idiot and have to knock him out.

 

So where am I going with this? The internet and pagers have killed birding for me, back in late 80s/early 90s the arrival of Birdwatching Magazine (acceptable in the 80s) at the newsagent or the BBRC report issue of BB in the letterbox provided an opportunity to see gripping out of focus pictures of megas that I didn't know about until at least several months later, now you get to see killer images within hours - why travel to see the bird, it will look exactly the same as it does in the images, what do you gain? The opportunity on the Monday morning to write the same words as everyone else in the Surfbirds Year-listing Highlights section? Sure these are great birds and Cornwall is a nice place but is the future of British Birding listing homogeneity? Kit Day you've wrecked my life.       

 

Alex


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