Saturday, 2 May 2020

Sunrise and Sunset

I am not a photographer by any shape of the imagination, I am more of a 'point and shoot' merchant, and as such I carry a bridge camera when out in the great outdoors, as an addition only to my notebook to record what I observe. I tend to be out early rather than late, so have taken a few snaps of the sunrise. I very rarely bird for pleasure towards sunset, but on some occasions my work as an Ecologist has meant that I am doing some form of dusk surveys for birds, and again I have taken a few snaps of the sunset.

I suppose that is a long-winded way of introducing some pictures below of sunrises and sunsets that I have taken over the years!

Sunset near Formby (above & below)

 A misty sunrise

 Sunrise over Spittal near Berwick-upon-Tweed

 A Cheshire sunrise

 Sunrise over the Wyre esturay

 Sunset over the pools at the Obs

I have nothing to report from my moth trap these last few days as it has been wet overnight, and because of the type of trap that I operate I can't run it in wet weather.

I have added another species to my lockdown period garden bird list and that was a singing Chiffchaff early one morning.

As you know, occasionally I like to pull an old notebook off my book shelf and have a look at what I was doing this time, who knows how many years ago!

In 1989 I had the pleasure of visiting Long Point Bird Observatory on Lake Erie in Ontario, Canada with my good friend Phil. On the 2nd May 1989 we spent the last day of what was 16 days operating the Breakwater field station that was located about five miles down the vegetated spit of Long Point, that sticks out in to Lake Erie for about 15 miles. Think of Spurn Point on steroids! Long Point is often over-shadowed by it's a distant Lake Erie neighbour Point Pelee, mainly I think because the whole of Point Pelee is accessible by birders. At Long Point it is only the base station, Old Cut, that visiting birders can access, and the two other stations Breakwater and The Tip, are only accessible to observatory staff and volunteers.

As I said before the 2nd May 1989 was our last day at Breakwater and the day dawned with full cloud cover, with a stiff northerly wind (F5). Sadly, at the time I didn't carry a camera, and then it was the days of 35 mm film, so I have no pictures that I can show you of the site or of the birds. We monitored the migration through this field station by carrying out a daily census, and through a programme of bird ringing. At Breakwater we operated a Heligoland Trap and numerous mist nets.

Anyway back to the 2nd May, and the following is a list of the birds that made it into my notebook; two female Northern Harriers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs, 60 Chipping Sparrows, six Blue Jays, three Blue-winged Teals, two Chimney Swifts, 23 American Goldfinches, two Hermit Thrushes, three Forster's Terns, a Belted Kingfisher, six Double-crested Cormorants, two Purple Martins, a Downy Woodpecker, two Wood Ducks, two White-crowned Sparrows, three Buffleheads, a male American Kestrel, two male Myrtle Warblers, a Palm Warbler, a pair of Rufous-sided Towhees and two Savannah Sparrows.

 Palm Warbler (courtesy of my good mate Nigel)

The forecast is looking reasonable for tomorrow as we are losing the northerly element of the wind that we have had for the past couple of days, so I might just take my daily exercise on the local coastal farm fields and see what I can see. The moth trap should be on as well tonight, so you never know.

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