Thursday, 19 August 2010

Found it/them!

The Safari has discovered the identity of yesterday’s mystery gull and as predicted it was a juvenile Lesser Black Backed Gull. To reach this not-so astonishing conclusion we had a good shuffy through the pages of Olsen and Larsson and found the answer by morphing the tertials of the bird shown on plate 544 with the scapulars and greater coverts of the individual on plate 545. Why do the little so’n’so’s have to be so variable? It’s probably easier looking at em with old, out of alignment bins when the nuances and subtleties of the variation in plumage can’t be seen and so it’s are far more obvious what they actually are then when trying to be a tad too clever with a scope…something to be said for ‘ignorance is bliss’, it might not be bliss but it is certainly a lot less confusing! Would it be too much to ask that they were all as easy to identify as this one?

Not only that a trawl through Google images as Anno suggested gave us the answer to the mystery bone which he correctly identified as being a vertebra from a Porpoise. We shoulda known that, but he is one clever chap! (Let us know when the Willow Tits are back on the feeders and we’ll have another stumble around Moore after your boaty ride).
Patch 1 was double quiet this morning apart from the Magpies still giving one of the Sparrowhawks a shed load of grief. A new bird ‘in’ at the Golden Triangle was a Chaffinch; have they been away or just been silent and unobtrusive?
At Patch 2 MJ and FB were already ensconced but hadn’t had anything to shout about. We gave it a few minutes but with only a couple of distant Gannets, a flock of six Common Scoters in flight and three more bobbing about like corks on the water it wasn’t really worth staying out long, so we didn’t! The thought of a nice cuppa was too inviting and easily took precedent.
Don’t know how many of our UK readers saw this?’s very scary!!! Probably a ploy to soften us up for something a little less radical but possibly equally sinister. Isn’t the new government’s logo a tree – probably to remind us what they used to look like by the time they’ve finished with our environmental heritage! This arvo's visit to Patch 2 surprised us with a good bit more than earlier. A Grey Seal bottled beyonfd the surf and a Ringed Plover was picked up on the sand banks up the beach until it and another seven we hadn't spotted were flushed by a bloke and his kids. Out over the sea a couple of Sandwich Terns went north while a handful of others were blogging about. amongst the gulls were an adult Common Gull and at last another juvvy Black Headed Gull with only a couple of dozen adults today.
The long march back to the office gave us a male Linnet sat up on the overhead tram wires.
Mid afternoon we had a site meeting at the local recycling centre to assist with the setting up of a conservation area. A Speckled Wood was casing the joint for next year but here was our best tick of the day - one of our Green Laning buddies was seen hurling lordy-knows-what into the skips...
Where to next? Yet more patchy stuff but, weather permitting, a moth trapping session tomorrow night too...results on Saturday.
In the meantime let us know what's been lurking around the rubbish dumps in your outback.


DaveOnFidalgo said...

I truly appreciate the problem with the Gulls. We have the same issues here in the Pacific Northwest. First winter, second winter. etc. Then we have Glaucous-winged and Western gulls that interbreed and produce hybrids. Then what do you do? I do enjoy your blog. Thanks.

Amila Kanchana said...

Properly identifying animals is probably one of the hardest things for any wildlife enthusiast,but when you a pin down an identification on a particular critter after some hard work,it feels great, doesn't it?

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Dave thanks for stoppin by - I've seen pics of those western/gw hybrids - scarily hard to ID. Very sorry to read about your landscaping nightmare - its the same over here, whatever happened to proper good old fashioned knowledgeable gardeners who know what they are doing?

Yep Amila if you get a tricky one right there's a nice feeling of satisfaction.