Thursday 12 November 2015

A short-billed Long-billed Dowitcher

There have been a couple of basic plumage Long-billed Dowitchers around for a while but there was a new comer when I last visited their favourite pond. A strikingly short-billed bird and not only that but the only autumn bird I've seen with colour. Have I never seen a juvenile before?

The short-billed bird on the right; even head-on it looks different to the other two. 

The typical basic Long-billed Dowitcher I'm used to seeing here at this time of year. 

Juvenile male (?) Long-billed Dowitcher with a distinctly short bill.

There were fewer Common Sandpipers around this visit but following bird did its very best to attract attention. The fourth shot, a bird in the early morning sun, shows probably the brightest yellow legs I've seen on a Common Sand.

This Peregrine went after anything that flew, Cormorant, Kite, Carrion Crow but the outstanding chase of the day was across a large pond on the tail of a Red-footed Booby. What was the Booby even doing the wrong side of the seawall?

On the lookout for the next aerial fun. 

The Red-footed Booby on the landward side of the seawall.

In the afternoon I headed to the north of town to have a look at the gulls, my main reason for being there if truth be told was to look for juvenile Taimyr Gull. There was only a single gull of that age group which was disappointing. Whether this was coincidence or due to conditions during the last breeding season resulting in a lower number of offspring I don't know but autumn juveniles are usually more numerous. Hopefully numbers will pick up.

Vega Gulls showing off their variable eye colour; neither extreme is unusual.

One of many adult Taimyr Gulls around at the moment.

Juvenile Taimyr Gull.

Juvenile Taimyr Gull.

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