Friday, 12 August 2011

Pre-weekend Preamble

I must congratulate Fylde Bird Club on their new look bird sightings under 'what's occurring' on their website. They have switched to an automated system where members and non-members alike can instantly upload sightings. This means that the sightings page is kept up to date and it also means less work for the webmaster.

However, (I bet you could tell there was going to be a 'but' or a 'however' coming) it will, and already has lead to some stringy sightings going on the website. Take the 8th August for example; 2 Long Tail Skuas off Rossall Point. Now I am not being pedantic, but if you call them 'Long Tail Skuas' and not Long-tailed Skuas then you don't know what a Long-tailed Skua is! The observer in question is decidedly dodgy and for a couple of weeks now he has asked Ian and I how you  would identify a Long-tailed Skua. He was obviously, as we predicted, preparing himself to claim a Long-tailed or two off Rossall. Unfortunately this gives the site a bad name and people start to disbelieve the validity of any records from the site. The fact that the Long-tailed's claims were juvs is laughable as there is not a chance in a million that this observer could identify a juv. Long-tailed Skua. Ah well, I suppose it will cause a smile and I'll look forward to some more dodgy records as long as they are not on my patch!

Now for some pictures. 'Young' Craig from our ringing group is currently working at Kvismaren Bird Observatory in Sweden and he sent me a couple of pictures of Great Reed Warbler and a couple of Red-backed Shrikes in the hand. They are particularly awesome as you can see below. As Craig said in his email to me "guess what Heather is saying in the Red-backed Shrike photo"? I know what I would be saying and it seems that it is exactly the same!

Bardsey had a Melodious Warbler yesterday, so let's hope if we can get to the 'obs' we can get one too! I doubt it, but it's good to dream!