Saturday, 17 October 2009

Varied and sundry

Added a couple of new birds to the 'as seen from the house' list this morning.
A fine pair of stunning varied thrush were feeding with a considerable number of American robins on the lawn right in front of the living room window - when the robins weren't chasing them off anyway...
Out on the water a couple of marbled murrelet, almost fully moulted into winter plumage, were bobbing around making their species debut as a house-tick.
In fact the horrible weather had driven a few more seabirds closer inshore, several pigeon guillemot were close by and in excess of 80 Pacific loons (divers) were feeding together in a channel alongside the usual common loons, pelagic and double-crested cormorants.

The drizzle unfortunately turned to deluge and an attempt to do some birding at Buttertubs Marsh was kicked swiftly into touch. A soggy merlin, several gadwall, half a dozen American coot and the large number of American wigeon was all that I could make out through the torrent, so I beat a hasty retreat back to Yellow Point. Not much chance of getting homesick with all this Lancastrian weather...

Disgruntled at my abortive efforts to do some birding I poked my scope out into the easing rain at 5pm and counted 182 surf scoter from the condo. An otter made an appearance once again and the usual supporting cast of horned (Slav) grebes, harlequin ducks, etc almost made amends.

The forecast for tomorrow is promising, let's hope so as I intend to join other local birdwatchers for their regular Sunday Morning Bird Walk - as organised by the good folk at The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store (see the link on this page)


  1. Joy here... you will be gutted to hear that we have all been watching the long-billed dowitcher at Cockersands this last few days. Ha! I put a message in a bottle the other day but I suppose it is unlikely you will get in any time soon. how is your French?

  2. C'est tres maird. That's why I moved to BRITISH Columbia...!
    I would have been really gutted if the dowitcher had been at Aldcliffe or even at Conder, but Cockersands? That's twitching distance.
    Oh, and it's about the only wader I see with any regularity out here (excepting black oik that is). I'll keep my eye for that bottle, it'll have to either come through the northwest passage or up the Panama canal so it might take a few days.