Saturday, 31 December 2016

More Gulls

Another good little gulling today with the crew and also pleased to welcome Matt Phelps this morning. 

 Juvenile Iceland Gull (Could well be the bird seen in late November and also on the Thames, see Josh's Blog HERE). The very contrasting white primaries are pretty distinctive. 
 First-winter Caspian Gull (middle leaning)
 Second-winter Caspian Gull 
 Second-winter Caspian Gull in flight 
Second-winter Caspian Gull showing mirror on p10 

The guys also had the juv Glauc today and another Yellow-legged Gull. See Kojak's blog HERE

Friday, 30 December 2016

Glaucous, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gull

A great little day with Dave, Christian, Angus, Tomos and Glenn checking through the gulls and checking out 100 acre and the mounds.

Sightings HERE and a few pictures below: 

 Juvenile Glaucous Gull- a very large individual. Found by the Dave. The first one this year at the farmlands.
 We had two Caspian/Caspian-type Gulls (Here's one from yesterday, which looked similar to one we saw today) 
 Caspian-type Gull (right of centre) The second bird today.
 Third-winter Yellow-legged Gull (left hand bird).
 Juvenile/First-winter Herring Gull, the dark large bird suggests origins from high latitudes . Also had a couple of adult type argentatus. 
 First-winter Common Gull, the heavy streaking on the head (including the crown and ear coverts), the sparsely marked upper tail coverts, restricted black on outer retrix and relatively pale underwing (below) indicates nominate canus. 

Dave, Magnus, Christian and Glenn
Tomos, Glenn, me, Christian and David (Magnus Andersson)
Me and Christian (Magnus Andersson) 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Thee Bryans Review 2016

A few developments in 2016:

SONGS OF PRAISE NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY ON ETSY


NEW COMPILATION ALBUM


COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY ON REVERBNATION


RECORDING NEW ALBUM- THE DARK MINSTREL


Some tracks from the Dark Minstrel

1) The Pioneers
2) The Bubble Will Burst

3) Bouncing on the Bottom


THE INSANE CAMPAIGN


The first in a series of publicity stunts to highlight the plight at Beddington Farmlands.


CHARITY SONG- CHAMPIONS OF THE FLYWAY


A track to go with our fund raising event as the Inglorious Bustards in Champions of the Flyway 2016.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Pan Species List Update

Been working through unidentified photo specimens from the summer and updating my Beddington Farmlands pan-species list HERE with the help of I-SPOT HERE.  I make it 43 new species for my personal list this year including White Stork which takes my bird list to 218 (We lost the bird list league table when Johnny went awol but I think Garry is on 225, Johnny was on 219 and Roy was 215- so I think I'm third in the game).  As far as I know 1211 pan species at the farmlands is the record but then again I'm the only one in the entire universe who is counting! 

Will need to get round to updating the official Beddington Farmlands List HERE which on the last count was 2029 species (last updated in July 2015)- so must be getting towards 2100 now? 

The most recent lists can be found here using the Biodiversity drop down menu HERE. All will need updating at some point. 

Here's a few distinctive species from the specimens: 

 Welsh Chafer
 Black-clouded Longhorn Beetle 
 Neetle Groundbug
Twin-spot Centurion

Thanks to Chris from I-spot for the identifications. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Bird Maths

A couple of puzzles at the farmlands today:


Following Adriaens and Gibbins 2016, this adult Common Gull keys out as nominate L.c.canus with the diagnostic suite of features as follows 1) p9 without obvious white tongue-tip, 2) p5 with broken black band, 3) p7 with white tongue tip, 4) p8 with grey at base of outer web and 5) p9 mirror larger than black tip.

Still on the look out for a 'Russian Common Gull' L.c.heinei 

Cormorants at the farmlands can either be Continental Cormorant P.c.sinensis or Atlantic Cormorant P.c.carbo. Atlantic Cormorant has been confirmed by a ringing recovery. According to Constantine et al 2012 a 72 degree gular patch angle (the angle between the gape line and the gular patch to the base of the lower mandible) is just within range of either with carbo gular patch range 38-72 and sinensis 66-111 degrees.
(NB: Not sure I've measured angle accurately as haven't got a protractor and had to make one from printing one out and then trying to judge angle through paper and back light of computer- can anyone measure it more accurately?) .


References

Adriaens P & Gibbins C. 2016. Identification of the Larus canus complex. Dutch Birding 38:1-64

Constantine M, Hopper N. & The Sound Approach, 2012 Catching the Bug: Paradise Regained pp76-77.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Trips and events in 2016

TRIPS

CHAMPIONS OF THE FLYWAY APRIL

A great trip in the Spring taking part in Champions of the Flyway in Israel as part of the team 'The Inglorious Bustards'.

Long-legged Buzzard 
Mourning Wheatear 
Bar-tailed Desert Lark 
Team members Simon and Niki at a Kibbutz


A slick and very enjoyable event. Great work by Jonathan, Yoav and the team.

BULGARIA SPRING AND SUMMER 

Visited Bulgaria and the Balkan Ecology Project twice this year carrying out biodiversity surveys and exploring the local area for wildlife. Did some herping with Dylan and Anton and looking forward to go back to Bulgaria on a Reptile focused trip with friends Neophron. 

Dylan and Anton herping 
Smooth Snake
Sand Lizard 
Grass Snake 
Silver-washed Fritillaries 
Balkan Golden Ringed Dragonfly 
Long-horned Bee
Archie with an Emperor Moth

WILDCATS AND WOLVES IN SPAIN AUGUST  

A great mini-trip in August looking for wildcats and wolves in Spain with Jaffa and Wise Birding.

Wildcat 
Iberian Wolf 

AZORES

The usual natural history trip, pelagic and autumn vagrant trip. 


EVENTS 

Attended several great little events through the year with Sue Healey and others. 

 Hen Harrier Day at Rainham 
 Birders Against Wildlife Crime 
The Natural Eye 2016
 London Natural History Society Events 
The London Park City Initiative Event
BirdFair 2016

HOLLYING 

Things 'escalated fast' with long term friend and work partner Holly this year. Had a great year with days out and exploring in the new camper van. 

 Holly at the Old Vicarage 
 New wheels- the mobile obs 
 The mobile obs- records straight into e-bird, i-record and utilising i-spot to help with id.

Been spending more time at Holly this year and well happy with my new local patch- Otmoor RSPB

 Biggest surprise of the year was this little fella

OTHER BITS 
Published the second part of New Directions in Birdwatch magazine this year. 
 A perceived momentous year on the Great Lie Front.  Even more reasons to ignore those muppets and keeping building an alternative advanced society. 
New Gear this year included a Phoneskope adaptor, 100-400mm Canon lens, a few new books, new owling spotlight and a new tripod head for doing some more video stuff