Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm having difficulty fitting them all in


Eurasian Jay by John Moore

(October 26th HTT) Well this can’t wait – three new birds today and good ones at that. First was the uncommon Red Avadavat next The Siberian Blue Robin, I got onto this one when I heard its squeaky se-ic call and after a few minutes searching spotted it. Finally the Garganey (a duck), twenty were first seen flying and I had a fair idea what they were at that stage but then thankfully they landed not too far away and were clearly identified. The surprising thing was that all three species were seen from one spot at the top end of the lake. The Garganey and Blue Robin also count as returning migrants. The figure now for HTT is 239 spp. 69 of which are migrants, so as you can see we lose quite a percentage when they go north to breed.

After all that kerfuffle the Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers seem to have lost their nesting hole to a pair of Plain-backed Sparrows (this change of tenancy happens quite often). This morning the sparrows were seen busily bringing grass and building a nest in the hole. A pair of woodpeckers were seen in the immediate vicinty but were showing no interest in the proceedings. Another note of interest was a pair of Eurasian Jays who were communicating in what I can only call a foreign language. They were using the calls of the Crested Serpent Eagle and the Shikra (trilingual no less). This is not unusual and the danger is that if you don’t see the bird making the call you might misidentify it. The Greater Racket-tailed Drongo is another bird guilty of this mimicking but usually gives itself away by throwing in some of his own calls. Also another 6 Black Bazas were seen circling overhead.

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