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lmsa84 4th B.Y.


lmSA84
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To celebrate the return of Safaritalk and give something back to all the other great BYs, I've decided to get mine going.

 

This BY will be nothing special. My kids are 12 weeks and 2.5yrs and take over any possible serious birding time.  That said, I've slowly become a master of birding whilst pushing a pram or having a child strapped to me and we have some good holidays this year to Mauritius, Perpignan, the Shetlands (August) and potentially others - so when ever I can I'll try breakout the camera.

 

 

Edited by lmSA84
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Welcome back, I´m looking forward to your Kiddy Year.

22 minutes ago, lmSA84 said:

I've slowly become a master of birding whilst pushing a pram or having a child strapped to me

 

You know we want photos of that please. ;-)

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Surely a 12 year old should have his/her own camera by now? That leaves Dad free to do the spotting.

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@Galana - a 12 year old I completely agree - a 12 week old - might be a bit trickier!

 

My daughter though is showing commendable interest

 

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2 hours ago, Galana said:

12 year old should have his/her own camera by now?

Oops! My eyes do let me down now and again.

I agree 12 weeks is pushing it a bit but the 2.5 yr daughter looks promising..

 

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Commendable indeed!   Birding with baby, have a good and a big year, @lmSA84!

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1. Mauritius 1. Mauritius Kestrel

 

No point in burying the lead - maybe my best - certainly my rarest bird will be the Mauritius Kestrel. In 1974, this bird was considered the world's rarest, with only 4 known birds remaining! Since then, through intensive conservation efforts the numbers have been increased to near 400 today. 

 

Interestingly, I would have thought that a population of 4 would not have been viable for recovery due to the likely impact of inbreeding but it's theorised that the Mauritius Kestrel's evolutionary history has likely removed any alleles that might cause inbreeding. This phenomenon is apparently observed in other island bird species - or so wikipedia tells me. 

 

Male

 

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Female

 

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These birds were seen at Vallee de Ferney, a thin patch of protected natural forest where this pair are still feed. It's not the best circumstances to see them and they can be seen in the true wild but my family commitments didn't allow me to visit Black Gorge National Park (the islands only National Park) where they can also be found. 

Edited by lmSA84
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Such a recovery, looks like there is hope also for other birds!

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Lovely bird to start with and I think @Atravelynn's comment is a good basis for the title of your attempt.

"Birding with baby" has a great ring to it.

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What a start!! 

Good to see you in the game too, I think a trip to the Natural History museum might be needed to top that!

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Wow!

 

Both for the sighting, and for your enthusiasm.

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Mauritius has 10 surviving endemic species of birds, of which I saw four. Judging by cloud birder trip reports nine of these are relatively easy to see if you're able to visit the Black Gorge National Park (BGNP). The simple reason for this is that BGNP has become a tiny island within an island.

 

We've all heard about the Dodo (which I've always had a strange affinity for because my childhood museum was the Durban NH museum which has a stuffed replica in it's entrance) but until I visited I hadn't realised that the Mauritian species die off is far more extensive than just the Dodo.  The island has lost near 98% of it's natural forest cover and the introduction of a vast range of invasive species including Small Asian Mongoose, Crab Eating Macaque, Wild Boar, Rats, Cats, Dogs and Common Myna's - has been the last straw for over 20 species!

 

It's really quite sad. And what makes it a bit more depressing is that when you are there you do see hundreds of birds but they're typically hundreds of a few invasive species.

 

Enough of the depressing news though!

 

2. Mauritius Pink Pigeon, 2. Mauritius

 

This is another success story for the island, as the Pink Pigeon was once reduced down to 10 individuals. Today it's closer to 400 and has been upgrade to Vulnerable on the ICUN scale.

 

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Edited by lmSA84
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3. Mauritius Grey White-eye, 3. Mauritius

 

The most common of the endemic species is the Mauritius Grey White-eye, who in large part are common because they have adapted well to all the introduced vegetation.

 

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4. Mascarene Swiftlet, Mauritius 4. 

 

Another common endemic and the only common swift on the island. His light beige rump is diagnostic

 

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Edited by lmSA84
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 Both sad and hopeful stories. Very interesting stuff and some really good shots of the endemics, @lmSA84 !

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It is wonderful that such 'rescue' projects have brought such species back from the brink.

Great photos too.

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beautiful bird to start with, and great shots of the endemics. While there is bad news, I'll say the good news outweigh the bad. a turnaround from just 10 birds is miraculous! such positive and encouraging background stories gives us hope in a mad topsy turvy world. 

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Great to see you doing the BY this year @lmSA84, the Mauritian birds and their stories are very interesting.

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I'm not continuing on to focus on the non-endemic Mauritian birds both natural and introduced.

 

5. Green-backed Heron, Mauritius 5.

 

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6. Common Whimbrel, Mauritius. 6

 

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7. Barred Ground Dove, Mauritius 7.

 

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8. White-tailed Tropicbird, Mauritius, 8.

 

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9. Ruddy Turnstone, Mauritius, 9.

 

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10. Red-whiskered Bulbul, Mauritius, 10.

 

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11. Spotted Dove, Mauritius, 11.

 

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