Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Some Proper Ornithology News!

Decided to risk a quick dash to Holden for a spot of frantic birding this evening, determined to check the marsh before the tide filled the creek.
I needn't have bothered really - for my troubles I was rewarded with just 8 least, 1 semi-palmated and 1 spotted sandpiper. The marsh pools are drying up rapidly, so I expect things won't get much better without some water in those shallow flashes pretty soon.
As for the incoming tide, I just made it, wading through the rising muddy channel with the water about an inch from to the top of my wellies...

Now for that proper ornithology stuff...

For those back in merry ol' England (and Scotland, Wales, or anywhere else) you may be interested to know that the American Ornithologist's Union has finally announced the expected split in the 'winter wrens' - formerly considered the same as our own troglodytes troglodytes.
Well, now the North American version is recognised as two species. Pacific wren (the one we get here) and Winter wren (previous common name). Which means that if you've seen a wren in North America, it's now a tick, or two, depending on where you saw them! I'll be going though my old notebooks to see whether I made mention of seeing winter wren in the eastern or central states...
Keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming European splits - St Kilda wren for Britain's true endemic, anyone? (get your pencil sharpened Coyley...). 

Oh, and they've decided to follow the BOU's now ancient decision to split common scoter from black scoter - but get this - it's now to be called AMERICAN scoter! Haha! What the hell was wrong with black scoter? After all, it hardly occurs outside of Canada and Alaska. The new scientific name is: Melanitta americana by the way.

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