Saturday, February 27, 2010
Illustrating the Grey Heron with pencil and paper
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sounds I once heard...
At midnight in Finland in early July 2003, a whipping Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) in the marshlands around Lake Siikalahti, Parikkala.
The huge spring staging site for Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus) at Hornborgasjön in Västergötland, Sweden attacted 18000 birds at the peak period in 2009. Listen to a sample of the 'Trandansen' below.
A more tropical sound follows with a pair of Coraya Wrens (Thryothorus coraya) engaging in antiphonal duetting where both sexes contribute alternative phrases in quick, coordinated succession to produce a ‘final’ song. Can you tell which part is being produced by which sex? I recorded this near Tarapoto in northern Peru during September 2009.
Finally closer to home, the nocturnal cacophony of roosting Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus) on the Folly Pond at Caerlaverock WWT reserve on the Solway Firth in Scotland. These birds were recorded late at night from one of the guest rooms in the farmhouse - a great sound to drift off to sleep to in late December.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Dusky Warbler - Walthamstow Reservoirs
Friday, February 19, 2010
Fulmar calls from a ruined fortress
Photos: Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven War Memorial, Stonehaven harbour at night.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Walthamstow islands of noise
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Great Tit song variation
Great Tits have been singing full songs for a few weeks now but many birds are still roving around in winter feeding flocks. I recorded one individual with three song types as follows:
Song #1: single strophe (5-8 double elements) repeated at a rate of 16/min
Song #2: single strophe (4-11 double elements) repeated at a rate of 11/min
Song #3: single strophe (7-20 double elements) repeated at a rate of 11/min
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Breeding Herons in the Heart of London
Grey Herons in London are returning to their nests; building, repairing and stealing small branches from neighbouring nests while the occupants are away. General activity and courtship behaviour at the moment does seem to be less compared with previous years though the recent severe weather resulted in most birds deserting the frozen lakes. The males are looking superb as usual with striking pink-orange bills and sky blue lores. The second image below captures a ferocious territorial interaction between two males. A female is just visible in the nest behind them and when her mate returned to find a rival male on the nest, there was trouble. Brief copulation soon followed before he departed again for more twigs and branches. The males appear to do most of the gathering while the females do more of the actual arranging, at least on established nests that are being used year after year.
Bird Recording in Ayrshire
·The SOC, The Scottish Birdwatching Resource Centre, Waterston House, Aberlady, East Lothian, EH32 0PY, Scotland
·RSPB Lochwinnoch Shop, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
·SOC Ayrshire meetings
·RSPB Central Ayrshire meetings
·Bookshops in Ayr/Troon TBA
·Ayr Tourist Board office
·By post from · Dick Vernon (priced £4 - cheques made payable to Ayrshire Bird Report with an additional 80p to cover postage) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now for ABR 2009:
Thanks to everyone who has promptly submitted their 2009 records. Please send remaining records to email@example.com by the end of February. Any species on the ABRC list should be accompanied by a description on the form available from the Ayrshire Birding website. SBRC description species should be submitted via myself. Most observers are submitting records direct to me in MS Excel which is ideal and the following layout of columns from l-r is recommended:
Species*, Date*, Count*, Location*, Notes, Observer*, Grid Reference, E-mail (*information being essential in these fields).
For those without Excel or compatible spreadsheet software, I've created a secure online Google Excel document where observers can enter their 2009 records via an online form. Each record has to be entered individually but should be fairly quick and is immediately sent to a secure spreadsheet where I can copy the records. I would encourage observers who do not formally submit records but casually post sightings on this group, to add your sightings using this form throughout the year. Use of the form would save me time formatting and compiling records from all sorts of sources. Even if you don't use a traditional notebook in the field, you could bookmark the following links on your mobile phone and enter sightings just as you see them!
The form for entering 2009 records can be found here:
The form for entering 2010 records can be found here:
I'm looking for at least two articles. Feel free to e-mail me with any ideas you may have. The deadline for completed articles will be the end of April.
Artwork & Images
Digital images of Ayrshire rarities and scarcities in 2009, or even interesting photos of common birds are welcome. A colour centre page of photographs may be a possibility this year in addition to b&w images throughout the text. Drawings or sketches of topical species are welcome and I like to see a range of drawings in the next Report, rather than just mine. Scans of your artwork at 600 dpi are preferred but all originals will be returned if you need to send them to me for scanning.
I don't have many butterfly records in yet so all remaining records are welcome. Please let any non-birding naturalist friends/colleagues know that they can send records to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the 2009 Ayrshire Butterfly Report. The 2009 Report will consist of a bumper issue of both 2008 and 2009 records.
Finally, your thoughts and ideas on the ABR in general are welcome.
Fraser Simpson (ABR Editor/County Recorder)