Currently on a trip to Azerbaijan looking for Siberian Crane (only one individual. 'Omid', remains in the Western Palearctic) with a group of nearly 30 birders (feels like Corvo on tour). A few photos from last couple of days. Ebird Trip report HERE.
Sunday, 27 February 2022
Tuesday, 22 February 2022
Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin have all come through during the last week bringing wide spread devastation and several fatalities but dare I say that here at the Old Vic, by an absolute miracle. we did not sustain any garden or structural damage. Fortunately we did some storm proofing tree work a few weeks ago but nothing could have stopped damage caused by gusts of over 100 mph. Fortunately we missed all the damaging squalls. Needless to say it's been busy at work on the tree and garden game.
The only abnormal thing noted was the Siskins feeding on the ground because the Niger seed had blown off the bird feeders.
Had a Brambling flying around between the storms. Old Vic Bird List for 2022 now on 49 HERE.
Monday, 21 February 2022
Here's a few recordings from last week of some of the local Azores birds/endemics (from top to bottom, Western Azores Goldcrest and Azores Chaffinch followed by European Robin and then Island/Atlantic Canary).
The Goldcrest and Chaffinch are distinct taxonomic units and from these recordings below the songs sound quite different to their European counterparts too. The Goldcrest is more Firecrest like and the Chaffinch seems more bubbly with distinct churring calls.
The European Robin sounds the same to 'our birds' to my ear. The resident population of this species on the Azores is considered to be nominate (same as European birds) so that would make sense too.
Finally on this post a short burst of the Macaronesian endemic, Atlantic or Island Canary, the ancestor of all those cage birds and sounding like them still too.
Following recent research Azores Chaffinch has already been split by the Dutch and looks like other taxonomic authorities might follow soon. May be the Goldcrests next?
More on the Azores Endemic birds on the website AZORES WILDLIFE. In the back ground of these recordings there are other species calling too including Azores Grey Wagtail, Azores Gull, Azores Blackcap, Azores Blackbird, Azores Starling and House Sparrows and Collared Doves.
Sunday, 20 February 2022
Wednesday, 16 February 2022
The story of the Ring-billed Gulls on the Azores and across the Western Palearctic is told in Josh Jones' article, 'The Rise and Fall of Ring-billed Gull HERE. An extract from that article reads: