Monday, 20 September 2010

Last of the Summer - Whine...

A quick dash around the Nanaimo River, from the Raines Road end, after work resulted in the grim realisation that post-work visits are coming to a rapid close. The sun was setting quickly, and in another couple of weeks I'm going to be restricted to weekend birding. Boo.
While Jenny picked the last of the season's blackberries I trundled around looking for birds. Not too much doing, the usual sparrows and flickers etc. A greater yellowlegs was calling from out on the marsh, but I didn't see it.
The darker juv northern harrier was performing very well and passed close by numerous times. An SLR with a even a 200mm lens, would have given me some excellent shots but, alas, I no longer own such things.

It's a Mystery...

Now, I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed in the response to the last mystery bird pic. Perhaps I upset too many of you with that evil hummingbird shot, and you have decided to repay me by no longer joining in... let bygones be bygones and have a go at the new one. Go on, it's fun!

So, what about that last one?

It was clearly a warbler and one with bright yellow undertail coverts. All of our 4 contenders, could qualify. How about those thick pink legs? A clue there?
It pretty much rules out orange-crowned (which was the favourite with 50% of the vote) whose legs are darker and finer. It appears to be a more robust bird in general too, for that species.
 How about palm warbler? Well, no-one went for that - the undertail pattern clearly eliminates that species. Our bird has a plain concolourus undertail, while palm show distinctive white spots.
OK - MacGillivrays only received one vote. I would expect that species to have extensive yellow from the undertail coverts on to the belly and essentially be bright yellow on all the underparts. The bird in our pic has the yellow very much confined to the coverts.
So that leaves us with common yellowthroat. The posture, I think is a good indicator for this species too, showing the characteristic cocked tail.
As usual, complaints, other pointers etc, will be gratefully received!

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