Friday, May 27, 2011

Rumours of Cranes

From the 'Short Notes' section of No.1 of Volume 1. of Scottish Birds (Autumn 1958) published by the SOC:

Friday, May 20, 2011


The new System 7 track from their UP album - sounding great live at Ginglik last night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just joined SoundCloud

Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) singing by fssbirding

Grey Heron brood in movie mode

Surprisingly, I have had the 7D body for about six months and hadn't tried to movie mode until now. Now I wish I had used it earlier while at Bosque del Apache. The quality is very good through the Canon 500mm f4 (with 1.4x extender here), though YouTube obviously has compressed the file so quality is reduced in the clip below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The young punks of Regent's Park

This year in the Regent's Park heronry, a pair has nested in an unusually low position in the crown of a small willow on the main island, with the added benefit (for heron-watchers at least) of clear, unrestricted views from the north side of the lake. Following Tony's blog on the development of the brood of three over the last few weeks, I decided it was time to photograph them at the weekend. There were only two feeds by the adults between 0530h and 1100h.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recent sound recordings from the past year

Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina)

Waide Motell Campsite, Elva, Estonia 58º 23' 22.5'' N 26º 33' 29.7'' E
25 May 2010h, 0421h. Territorial song of male in secondary growth within mature mixed woodland; sonogram is an excerpt of a much longer recording.

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)

Sutlepa Meri, Estonia 59º 01' 16.7'' N 23º 34' 00.5'' E
28 May 2010, 1603h. Territorial song (~8 elements in each strophe) of male high in Ash in open meadow.

Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva)

Tooma, Endla Looduskaitseala, Estonia 58º 52' 21.4'' N 26º 15' 59.4'' E
21 May 2010, 1531h. Territorial song: single strophe preceded by two faint high-pitched notes (~7.0-8.3 kHz) from high in spruce glade with deciduous understorey.

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

Nigula Bog, Nigula Looduskaitseala, Estonia 58º 00' 25.2'' N 24º 42' 50.8'' E
27 May 2010h 2206h. Territorial song at dusk from flooded spruce forest with larch and alder: three to four descending, fluty notes followed by complex twittering phrases, delivered at eight strophes per minute.

Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)

Menara Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco 31° 36' 51.57" N 08° 01' 05.12" W
19 February 2011 1044h. Powerful song phrase uttered from olive grove - part of a much longer delivery.

Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)

Oukaïmeden, High Atlas, Morocco 31° 12' 22.38" N 07° 51' 32.30" W
13 February 2011h 0922h. Calls from a roving flock feeding in the snow - Red-billed Choughs in the background.

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Casa de Campo, Madrid, Spain 40° 24' 56.70" N 03° 45' 05.30" W
21 February 2011. Call froms a small party - very common species in this city.

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales, Andalucia, Spain 36° 08' 59.4" N 05° 35' 00.6" W
9 Apr 2011, 1533h. Calls from a small feeding party.

Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)

Valle de Ojén, Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales, Andalucia, Spain
36° 08' 46.8" N 05° 34' 58.2" W 11 Apr 2011, 1209h
Territorial song from cork oak/holm oak woodland. This bird was singing with continual variation between successive strophes.

Western Bonelli's Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli)

Valle de Ojén, Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales, Andalucia, Spain
36° 08' 46.8" N 05° 34' 58.2" W 11 Apr 2011, 1307h
Territorial song from cork oak woodland. Strophes repeated 5-6 times per minute.

Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)

Arroyo del Tiradero, Valle de Ojén, Andalucia, Spain 36° 08' 46.4" N 05° 35' 04.3" W
11 Apr 2011, 1337h. Territorial song from skulking male in thorny, evergreen scrub on open cork oak slopes. Fast, chattering, scratchy warblers, each strophe lasting 3-8 seconds, mostly uttered from within cover.

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)

Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico, US 33° 51' 33.21" N 106° 52' 37.65" W
26 December 2010. Trumpeting call from bird feeding in flock.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico, US 33°49' 59.87" N 106° 51' 27.65" W
26 December 2010 1725h. Call froms birds preparing to roost.

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

Kindrogan, Perthshire, Scotland 56° 44' 54.3'' N 03° 32' 55.1'' W
16 June 2010 0529h. Territorial song from Yews beside walled garden.

Coal Tit (Periparus ater)

Kindrogan, Perthshire, Scotland 56° 44' 54.3'' N 03° 32' 55.1'' W
16 June 2010 0704h. Territorial male singing from open larch woodland.

Wood Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Kensington Gardens, London, England 51° 30' 28.7" N 00° 10' 43.8" W
26 March 2011 1201h. Male singing 'fast song' from outside nest in London Plane; up to 10 strophes per minute.

Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)

Wanstead Flats, London, England 51° 35' 31.0" N 00° 13' 37.7" W
26 March 2011 0817h. Territorial/advertising 'yaffle' from mature Sessile Oak copse; note the unusual higher-pitched second and third elements.

Black-whiskered Vireo (Vireo altiloquus)

Long Key State Park, Long Key, Florida, United States 24º 48' 49.3'' N 80º 49' 18.2'' W
5 July 2010, 0850h. Territorial song from flooded mangroves.

Florida Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor paludicola)

Long Key State Park, Long Key, Florida, United States 24º 48' 53.5'' N 80º 49' 22.2'' W
11 July 2010, 0819h. Calls from male feeding along the edge of mangroves.

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Long Key State Park, Long Key, Florida, United States 24º 48' 50.3'' N 80º 49' 05.7'' W
5 July 2010, 0925h. Territorial/advertising song of male in hammock scrub.

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Long Key State Park, Long Key, Florida, United States 24º 48' 45.4'' N 80º 48' 58.2'' W
5 July 2010, 0918h. Territorial/advertising song of a male in hammock scrub.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marsh Frog vocalisations

This noisy chorus of Marsh Frogs Rana ridibuna (well, probably this species as the European Water Frog group is complex with much hybridisation) was recorded in southwest London at WWT’s London Wetland Centre. The species isn’t native in the British Isle though this species does add some vocal colour to the wetland habitat here.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Black Swan Art

While sound recording at the WWT London Wetland Centre last weekend, I was distracted by the snoozing pair of Black Swans (Cygnus atratus) in the collection ponds and immediately saw the potential to create some attractive images of their beautiful plumage textures.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Scenes from Zahara de los Atunes

Zahara de los Atunes is a small town on the Costa de la Luz in Cádiz province in south-west Spain. Last month, I was on a field course there which provided sightings of Northern Bald Ibis, Griffon Vulture, Booted Eagle, Black Kite, Montagu's Harrier, Kentish Plover, Audouin's Gull, Caspian Tern, Pallid Swift, Bee-eater, Calandra Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, and Blue Rock Thrush in the town and surrounding fields and hillside.

When a strong Levante (Levanter in English) is blowing, raptors and other larger migrants trying to cross the Straits from Morocco to the Gibraltar/Algerciras/Tarifa area can be forced as far west as Zahara in certain conditions, allowing raptor watching from shore-front hotel roofs!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cetti's Warbler, London WWT

Well it was a windy bank holiday weekend and the only species I managed to sound record was this Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti) in the sheltered Wildside area of the WWT London Wetland Centre.

WWT London Wetland Centre, England 51º 28' 51.48'' N 00º 14' 5.38'' E 30 April 2011
Single strophe of song burst, uttered every 3-5 minutes from waterside alder and bramble scrub.