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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Bird Watching. by Ken Dunn on 17 February 2016 3:47pm
I've been getting my outdoor adventure very near to home these days. One of my favourite walks takes me along less than a mile of the Fife Coastal Path and the other morning, with my camera, I got lots of photographs of the different birds in the trees and on the bay nearby. The birds were:
Oystercatcher, Curlew, Sandpiper, Dunlin?, Mallard, Eider?, Bullfinch, Wood Pigeon, Gull?, Robin, Crow?. The question marks are species I am unsure about i.e. there are 2 or 3 different crows that look the same from a distance.
Also, on our bird table this morning we had Starlings, Magpies, Jackdaws and a Wood Pigeon. Our bird feeder regularly has House Sparrows and Blue Tits and a Robin is a regular visitor to the garden.
Re: Bird Watching. by Ken Dunn on 22 February 2016 7:59pm
I'll be off to the local bird club on Thursday as a guest by invitation to see about membership for a while
Re: Bird Watching. by suzulu on 22 February 2016 11:18pm
Quite a selection of birds. It's amazing how many different species of birds we have in the UK or visit the UK.
Re: Bird Watching. by Ken Dunn on 23 February 2016 11:31pm
Thanks for all your comments suzulu, I was getting lonely!

Having put the photographs mentioned above into the computer and done some digital zoom on them with a proper check I can confirm that the eider duck was not - it was a shelduck. The bullfinch was a figment of my imagination but come to think of it maybe not. Although I don't have a photograph of it because it is a very shy bird it could be that it flew away before I got the camera pointing at it. The curlew is in a little doubt because there is a;so a bird called a curlew sandpiper with similar markings but less curve on its beak and then the whimbrel is fairly similar too.
Re: Bird Watching. by suzulu on 24 February 2016 2:50pm
It can be very difficult to identify similar looking birds. Do you have a good bird guide book?

I don't know where everyone has gone on this site. Come back!!
Re: Bird Watching. by Ken Dunn on 26 February 2016 5:47am
I used to have a Collins guide to the birds of Britain and Europe but it has got mislaid (buried somewhere in many years of accumulating stuff). I got a new one of about the same vintage from an eBay registered bookshop for £2.95 with free postage. It arrived yesterday. I've just had a look at it to solve the curlew/whimbrel problem and the birds are very similar except that the curlew has more of a downturned beak.
Re: Bird Watching. by Spursfan2 on 27 March 2016 9:34am
We have several birds here of course, living in the countryside but, not being by any means an expert, one 'call' had me stumped.

It's like a twanged ruler - you know the sound when you put your ruler off the side of the desk and then 'twanged' it? It sounds very close and loud but looking through the window I could never see the culprit.

Anyway the riddle was solved the other week when Zak came in and and said he had seen on one of the trees in the front garden....a woodpecker !! Of course!!
Re: Bird Watching. by Ken Dunn on 28 March 2016 6:11am
There was an item about woodpeckers on Countryfile this week. It didn't mention anything about their calls but did cover their pecking sounds. My bird club suggests that some bird identifications are most accurate when their call is taken with a visual to be sure of the species. That is something I'll have to work on because a lot of birds are easily identified by visual only. It is the small brown blobs that are the difficult ones.
Re: Bird Watching. by Spursfan2 on 28 March 2016 3:39pm
I saw it Ken.

I realise that the noise I heard - the 'twanging ruler' - wasn't a call but tapping on the tree, but I referred to it as a call in my post above as that was what I thought it was originally.
Re: Bird Watching. by suzulu on 29 March 2016 10:02pm
Did anyone see BBC Springwatch (Easterwatch) on Good Friday? It came from my home county, Pembrokeshire! Iolo Williams was in Milford Haven (my home town) and talked about the oil spill in 1996 from the Sea Empress after it became grounded on rocks at Milford Haven. The crude oil caused so much devastation to the beaches and wildlife. It was heartbreaking. 72,000 tons of crude oil was spilt into the sea.
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