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Mfuwe's second year.


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Galana

Another day another dollar or in my case another journey into ECB land.

Here is number 355.

 

It was blowing Force 6 and even when I got the bird* to sit, still the trees were shaking around. There IS a bird in there honest Injun!

 

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Still a tick is a tick in my book.

Edited by Galana
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A few more offerings with the only moan:-   178. Red-breasted Paradise Flycatcher.   179. Northern White-faced (Scops) Owl.   18

Not done all of today yet. I got called away.   67. Great Tit. Ballakesh Plantation.   68. Chaffinch. A nice male in the Pink, pink! Ballak

Another set that contains two 'specials' for me. 306. Hume's Groundpecker. Pseudopodoces humilis. Tso Kar.   307. Plain-backed Snowfinc

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Peter Connan

Not if you don't tell us what it is!

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I’m guessing it’s a Eurasian Jay? 

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Dave Williams

It's a Leafbird.

 

 

or an Owl

 

My ID'd by shape but as that would have sat still anyway it's probably not!

 

.

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Galana

Oh you do make life difficult with all your rules.

Do these help?

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Still shaking. Me or the tree. I don't know!

 

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Lovely sharp capture of the leaf. @Dave Williams was so close with his Leaf bird. and @lmSA84 's Jay was a good guess too.

 

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Getting there. Almost.

 

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You get it clear, exposed still and more or less in focus and it turns its bloomin 'ed.!

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Galana

Enough!

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It just won't keep its head still.  Press on.

But persistence on my part eventually lifts me out of the EBC field with a passably decent shot.

 

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355. (Bohemian) Waxwing. Bombycilla garrulus  (Manx. Skian chereagh. which is a straight translation so obviously modern). Seen in Ramsey, Isle of Man, whilst out shopping

We get a few of these most years usually in hard weather around the turn of the year so I was pleased that two had been kind enough to turn up early to help me out.

Not a British breeding bird but they come down from northern Europe  to the east coast before spreading out west wards but rarely reaching here or Ireland. Manly in medium numbers but sometimes can be in 'eruptions' of population.

Whilst  a bird of northern forests they are found in the British Isles in parks and gardens where they feed on Sorbus, Hawthorn and Rowan berries and strip the fruits before moving on.

Whether they will be allowed to do this post Brexit is still to be negotiated.:P

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Galana

Currently on a Wild Goose chase in Scotland in the water. Boy has it RAINED!!

Two RSPB reserves inaccessible. Seen some Pink feet and some Greylag but not any target birds. 100s of Red Kite which is nice.

So I have been working on my Tutorial documents for the upcoming ECB class of 2018

Never underestimate the inherent skill needed for a good ECB. One has to work hard on it AND involve the family if needs be..

Just look at the dedication and trials the poor Lady Galana had to suffer for my #356.

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Just as well I had the microphone off.

And, yes, the bird shows in both photos although number one needs a bit of cropping.

356. Red-legged Partridge. Aird's Farm, Crossmichael, Castle Douglas, Scotland.

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Tdgraves

well @Galana at least you have a photo of one - many seen by me recently, but never when I have a camera....

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PeterHG

The EBC masterclass must be fully booked by now. Great example!:)

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Galana
7 hours ago, PeterHG said:

The EBC masterclass must be fully booked by now. Great example!:)

Getting full but still a couple of places.:P

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Galana

The sun has come out....

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A repeat non flying of 351 looked good to start the day.

 

Then a few of these to bring  a smile.

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Nutkin. Quite a few around thankfully although the ugly american has made it up here.

Happily the steady march south of the Pine Marten should put a stop to that. We hope so.

 

and finally.....We sail home tomorrow, and this device is terminally sick, so just to show my goose was not totally cooked.

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358, (357 is to hand) Barnacle Goose.

Dinner calls. Til I get home.

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Galana

Catching up.

For those who did not see the target in 356 snapshot here it is cropped. My zoom is so slow I grabbed a shot before the bird made the fence and relied on pixels to help.

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Ironically despite my book showing no occurrence in Scotland I flushed more and even and a whole covey cross the road in front of my car one evening. All walked and how they survived the oncoming car I just don't know.

Whilst catching up here are some 'improvements' on previous offerings:-

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272. Nuthatch. RSPB. Ken-Dee Marshes. Scotland.

 

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345. Tree Sparrow. RSPB Mersehead, Dalbeattie, Scotland.

 

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Galana

A day in the life of a BY lister.

The sun came out on our last day and having sent off a dove we felt the floods had subsided so headed to the Ken Dee Marshes. We passed some Greylags and some Pink Feet but our target of Greenland Whitefronts eluded us. No sign at all.

The Hide was productive with four species of Tit but none counted. This is where I 'improved' the Nuthatch and met the Squirrels featured above.

Returning through the woods we scored with some birds feeding on the track up sun but the result was outwith the criteria for a real EBC.

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357. Bullfinch. Pyrrhala pyrrhala. (Manx Corkan keylley "Woodfinch!".) Ken Dee Marsh.

The sun was out as we regained our car and we saw a Red Kite drying off on a post showing all its colours.

 

The road was just passable and we picked up another bird along the way.

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359. Stock Dove. Ironically its name in Scotland is "WoodDove" just to confuse with those lovely small birds in Africa.

However whatever the local name we have Columba oena to guide us but I like the Manx name "Calmane gorrym"

which translates as Dapple Dove. 

Townhead of Greenlaw, Castle Douglas, Scotland.

We took the decision (risk) to head for Mersehead in the hope that the waters had continued to subside.

On the way we noted one holiday settlement was named "The Ark"  and wondered if they knew something we did not.

Reaching the start of the track to our destination RSPB Mersehead there was still a lot of water on the drive but we risked all with our very low slung car (more scary than in sand on the way to Sossusvlei) and pushed through.

We had a coffee and flapjack in the Visitor Centre and improved the Tree Sparrow above. No sign of Geese and we gritted our teeth when the very friendly warden told us that less than an hour ago there had been a large flock just 400 metres away but they had flown off.

As we left we heard the barking and as if on cue a small flock of Geese flew over. We caught up with them and there were around 500 or so geese in rough ground behind a hedge and really too bad for even my style of ECB.

However further down more geese were grazing in clear view.

They remained there for some photos and were actually joined by others.

So here are some photos of our target.

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358. Barnacle Goose. Branta Leucopsis. (Manx. Guiy twoaie. "Goose of the north") Mersehead.

The Manx name is very apt as this is a winter visitor that comes down from remote Svalbard in the Arctic circle.

Due to it vanishing in spring it was thought the bird was a form of Goose Barnacle crustacean hence its English name. This belief persisted right up to the 18th Century and indeed such was its link to "fish" it was deemed OK to be eaten on Fridays in Catholic Ireland.

Some 30000 Barnacles come to Britain each winter and are mainly concentrated at Mersehead and nearby Wildfowl Trust at Caerlaverock..

 

 

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PeterHG

Wonderful background information, @Galana and good shots of the Barnacle Geese. The  Bullfinch has eluded me so far, I'm afraid

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1 hour ago, PeterHG said:

The  Bullfinch has eluded me so far, I'm afraid

 

A quick trip to x-mas Ljubljana and I can pretty much guarantee you one!

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Galana
18 hours ago, PeterHG said:

The  Bullfinch has eluded me so far, I'm afraid

I know this only too well. I think I can count my own sightings on the fingers of one hand. A strangely shy bird.

 

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Dave Williams

We usually have a pair nesting near or in our garden but they disappear for months but the last few days I have seen lots of Bullfinches around in the locality, I wonder if some migrate here from further north ?

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Peter Connan
5 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

We usually have a pair nesting near or in our garden but they disappear for months but the last few days I have seen lots of Bullfinches around in the locality, I wonder if some migrate here from further north ?

 

Perhaps they flee from BY photographers?

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Galana
11 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

Perhaps they flee from BY photographers?

Indeed. Read on!

Progress is slow so perhaps I should set out another page in the ECB Masterclass.

Chapter 94. How to get the target birds in range.

Red Kites are a much sought after bird combining grace with a high degree of shyness.

So to close the gap I find the following method works well:-

1.Take camera with reasonable focal length and fully charged battery.

2. Lie down by the roadside disguised as a roadkill. It needs to be a bit smelly.

3. Wait for the word to get round. Hence the need for fully charged battery. No need to mimic the call or you might end up with the farm cat adding to the smell.

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4. Pick a dull but not wet day or the contrast may be difficult.

5. Lie with your feet downwind.

:lol:

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Dave Williams

I haven't got a Red Kite so far so thanks for the tips. Perhaps you should have added that it's probably a good idea to place a warning triangle on the side of the road just in case , as in my case currently, getting up to avoid oncoming traffic might be a bit slow!

Best road I can think of is the M40, I always see loads flying over there around the Chilterns.

 

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Peter Connan

My dad caught a vulture like that when he was a boy. I can''t remember him saying anything about whether or not he "enhanced" the smell, but I suspect this extra step is actually unnecessary.

 

I have no idea about Red Kites, nor about how one gathers enough patience.

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Dave Williams

You need to listen to this !

 

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Galana
1 hour ago, Dave Williams said:

You need to listen to this !

There is only one word on that "lovely".:)

Took me back a fair few years. Post Girls but pre birds. My mum did not care for him but then again she was not keen on Shirley Bassey either.

Thanks for sharing

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PeterHG

Great song! Or "lovely", yes....

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