Sunday, 30 June 2013

30th June 2013 Seaford & Southease W1 Fog

With many thanks to Bob & Matt Eade for sharing their moth catch:

Small Elephant Hawk-moth

Privet Hawk-moth

Lime Hawk-moth
Near Southease
Oystercatcher 2
Green Sandpiper 2

Saturday, 29 June 2013

29th June 2013 Beachy NW2 Overcast

Scoter 8 on sea
Swift 1,320W ex.
Raven 7

Common Swift over Birling

JFC counting Swifts passing Belle Tout

Cream-spot Tiger Moth at Birling

Bee Orchid at Belle Tout

Friday, 28 June 2013

28th June 2013 Burgess Hill

Red Kite 1 ex. flew past office window at 2.04pm

27th June 2103 Rodmell

Short-eared Owl 1
Little Owl 1
Lapwing 8

Short-eared Owl at Rodmell

26th June 2013 M40

Red Kite c.20

The shocking message of the saddening and sickening news of the dreadful unnatural demise of a brilliant bird

Monday, 24 June 2013

24th June 2013 Rodmell

Short-eared Owl 1
Little Owl 1

Short-eared Owl at Rodmell

Thursday, 20 June 2013

20th June 2013 Rodmell

Mediterranean Gull 2W adults
Short-eared Owl 1

Short-eared Owl at Rodmell

Adult Mediterranean Gull at Rodmell
one of presumably another pair of failed breeders heading west

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

19th June 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Peregrine 1
Short-eared Owl 1
Green Sandpiper 1

Reed Warbler at Rodmell
This year there seems a greater number of Reed Warblers singing from hawthorns than is usual. Will any Marsh Warblers in the County be unearthed amongst them...?

Adult Green Sandpiper near Southease

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

18th June 2013 Rodmell

Short-eared Owl 1
Little Owl 1

Short-eared Owl at Rodmell
a typical brief and distant encounter but it has clearly now commenced replacing its inner primaries

Little Owl at Rodmell

Monday, 17 June 2013

17th June 2013 Rodmell, Southease & Arlington

Egyptian Goose 1 Arlington
Greenshank 1
Green Sandpiper 2

First-summer Greenshank near Southease
Some first-summer Greenshanks summering in Europe effectively remain in winter plumage as does this individual

Adult Green Sandpiper near Southease
It must be Autumn!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

15th June 2013 Beachy SW6 Clear

Gannet c.35E
Common Scoter 107E
Whimbrel 1W
Arctic Skua 3E
Mediterranean Gull 3E (1s, 2s & ad)
Kittiwake c.50E
Sandwich Tern c.10E
Guillemot 2E
Razorbill 6E

Friday, 14 June 2013

14th June 2013 Rodmell

Barn Owl 1
Little Owl 1

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

12th June 2013 Cuckmere

Hobby 1 near Charleston Manor
Grey-headed Wagtail 1 first-summer male ex.

For thunbergi Van Duivenduk includes no or very narrow and short supercilia.
For thunbergi Van Duivenduk includes often dark breast(-side) patterning. Alstrom & Mild include either completely lacks white supercilium, or shows only a faint narrow short one behind eye, occasionally starting slightly in front of eye (often as an isolated white spot); never shows a long, complete supercilium.

First-summer male Grey-headed Wagtail in the Cuckmere (Matt Eade (above three images))
For thunbergi Van Duivenduk includes rear-crown and hind-neck colouration not sharply demarcated from mantle and upperparts often darker than in other forms. Alstrom & Mild include upperparts slightly duller than in flava, but much overlap.

For thunbergi Van Duivenduk includes culmen slightly straighter than in other forms, bill looks slightly upcurved (probably sometimes also in other forms). For thunbergi Alstrom & Mild include more often shows a 'necklace' of dark spots. Check out the similarity on Martin Garner's latest piece on Grey-headed Wagtails on his Birding Frontiers website
For thunbergi Alstrom & Mild include forehead darker, blackish-grey, diffusely merging with grey on crown

First-summer male Grey-headed Wagtail in the Cuckmere (John Cooper (above three images))
First-summer male Grey-headed Wagtail in the Cuckmere
Another day and another great find by Matt. Certainly not an easy bird to either readily age let alone assign to form but after lengthy discussions with both Matt and JFC and on trying to digest as much information as possible in the shortest time from both literature and (mainly) the links Matt provides on his blog
(or has forwarded by email) it being a first-summer male Grey-headed Wagtail does seem the 'best fit'. Alstrom & Mild suggest ageing thunbergi as a first-summer can be achieved by virtue of showing brown remiges but whilst that is not immediately apparent based on the images above nor is it so on all birds labelled as first-summer thunbergi? Reassuringly, for thunbergi, both Alstrom & Mild and Van Duivendijk do refer to a white throat also being indicative of a first-summer male. For thunbergi Van Duivenduk includes white throat but less sharply demarcated from breast than in Ashy-headed - JFC considered there to be a faint lemon-yellow wash to the lower throat that is just apparent in the images above. Females can appear surprisingly similar to first-summer males (and at least one at an East Coast location was considered likely to be a female until it started singing on its second day) but do show narrow supercilia lacked by the Cuckmere bird. I think we all would have preferred it to be sporting blacker lores and the front-side of its ear-coverts but perhaps the lack of can simply be explained by it being a first-summer male - take a look at some images labelled as such on the internet... no doubt our research will continue... a better understanding of the variation that can be shown, elimination of hybrids including Grey-headed x Blue-headed Wagtails, the fun has only just begun... though no doubt once more satisfactorily resolved, someone will tell us it was straightforward all along...
Grey-headed Wagtail in Finland June 2012 (Adrian Davey)
Clearly a near-identical first-summer individual in every respect including the lack of contrast between its ear-coverts and crown and even in showing a few odd pale flecks to its lower ear-coverts. Adrian has very kindly confirmed that he was based at Kuhmo, over half way up the eastern side of the country not far from the Russian border and that Grey-headed Wagtails (identification confirmed by reference to the Collins guide) were breeding there with adults seen calling to their fledged youngsters. The location is entirely consistent with the range of Grey-headed Wagtail M.f. thunbergi that includes all of Finland. It is also north of the alleged hybrid zone with M.f. flava that has been described as including southernmost Finland, although the inclusion of Finland at all is disputed by Alstrom & Mild (2003), as in their opinion the birds they have seen in southernmost Finland are all thunbergi. Whilst somewhat irrelevant now, for anyone interested, a Swedish website characterised hybrid Grey-headed x Blue-headed Wagtails as showing narrow white supercilia, a white lower white eye-ring therefore forming a very narrow white half-crescent below the eye and a hint of blue in the crown (features not shown by the Cuckmere bird) and a video of one such individual shows not only narrow supercilium, a blue tint to its crown but it was also sporting rich yellow wingbars (also not shown by the Cuckmere bird). In southernmost Sweden a hybrid zone exists being only c.100-150km wide.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

11th June 2013 Cuckmere

American Golden Plover 1 first-summer ex.


First-summer American Golden Plover in the Cuckmere
A real beauty found by Matt retaining its worn juvenile brown primaries and plenty of winter-type coverts and tertials but also sporting some boldly patterned summer-type mantle feathers and scapulars. Note the long primary projection (longer than its bill) being comprised of four visible primary tips projecting beyond its longest coarsely-notched tertial.
First-summer American Golden Plover in the Cuckmere (JFC)
Smoky-grey axillaries and underwing coverts and some dark-centred undertail coverts
American Golden Plover in the Cuckmere

Monday, 10 June 2013

10th June 2013 Rodmell

Hobby 1 ex.

Hobby near Rodmell

Sunday, 9 June 2013

9th June 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Lapwing 16
Redshank 8
Ringed Plover 3
Little Ringed Plover 1
Short-eared Owl 1
Swift c.35

Little Ringed Plover near Southease

Common Swift at Rodmell

Short-eared Owl near Rodmell

Azure Damselfly at Rodmell
... well, maybe!

Friday, 7 June 2013

7th June 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Oystercatcher 1
Grey Plover 1
Ringed Plover 3
Swift c.50

Grey Plover near Southease

Thursday, 6 June 2013

6th June 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Bar-tailed Godwit 1
Ringed Plover 5
Little Ringed Plover 1
Yellow Wagtail 1 female

Bar-tailed Godwit near Southease

Little Ringed Plover near Southease

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

5th June 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Teal 3 drakes
Little Owl 1
Curlew 1
Greenshank 1
Ringed Plover 5
Little Ringed Plover 1

Greenshank near Southease

Little Ringed Plover near Southease