Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Swifts Than Swallows

A bright and very breezy morning found me at Knott End but very little to report except for my first of the autumn adult Sandwich Terns, three of them sharing the beach with dozens of Black-headed Gulls. No real wader count either as I think they had all been pushed off the beach by morning walkers out for the sunshine. Instead I hit the road north to Cockerham. 

Sandwich Tern 

Following DNA studies the Sandwich Tern’s scientific name recently changed from Sterna sandvicensis to Thalasseus sandvicensis. The “Sandwich” in the name refers not to any food offered to it by bird watchers or photographers as per other more exotic gulls or terns, but to the place Sandwich in Kent, England. It was here that the bird was originally found and described in in 1787 by ornithologist John Latham. 

A look at Conder Green found the 2 Spotted Redshank, a better description now being “unspotted” as the adults go through the moult process of changing from their summery black appearance to a more uniform grey. Other waders here, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Curlew, 33 Redshank. There were lots of Swifts about this morning, with a count of 40+ above Conder and Cockerham village. Two roadside Kestrels highlighted the journey back south. 


A farm visit in Cockerham found lots of passerines including another juvenile Wheatear, about a mile from yesterday’s bird but this one unringed but so highly mobile it was uncatchable. These birds made me rethink whether Wheatears do breed very locally as suspected many years ago, a mission I never followed up because of so many competing birding tasks in June and July. For pictures of yesterday’s Wheatear in the hand, see here


Others at Braides: 18 Linnet, 12 Goldfinch, 6 Meadow Pipit, 8 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting, 5 Pied Wagtail and 10/12 Swallows – more Swifts than Swallows today. What a strange year it’s been. 

Meadow Pipit


eileeninmd said...

Great series of birds, Phil. My favorite is the Sandwich Tern. It is seems to be a strange year here too. Great shots.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas,las ultimas son estupendas.Saludos

grammie g said...

Hi Phil...I love those "chick's" you picked up yesterday ; }!!They look like they have feather boa's on!!: }}
I am glad you had a good day
I am glad you explained how the Sandwich Tern got it's name..that helped me where I have this addiction!!
Have not seen a Kestrel at all this year, after having them nest in the tree in my front yard last year!! I think it was 6 babies they had..I thought they would return..don't say I scared them off last year taking all those photos ; }
In fact I have only seen a few Hawks this is strange!!
Hope your good weather can credit me for that!!

Frank said...

Super series Phil. If this weather pattern continues it will be interesting to see how it affects migration time.

HansHB said...

A lovely bird post! Great photos!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The juvie Wheatear and Meadow Pipit are looking so alert and such beauty in those faces. I love the Tern in flight too. I hope that you have as spledid a weather week as you had this day~

mick said...

All great photos of the birds and very interesting about the change in latin name for the tern. I think that some of ours out here have changed as well and must get up-to-date on the changes.

Stuart Price said...

Very nice Tern pic Phil........

Carole M. said...

wonderful photographs Phil, and your header is S U P E R B!

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

First time for me to know the origin of the name Sandwich! Interesting... I've always wondered about how the bird's got that name.

Mama Zen said...

That shot of the kestrel is breathtaking. Wow!

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks for clearing up my sparrow/warbler. I'm so new to these birds.
Never seen a warbler until this May! I went birding in our local park with long-legged experts. sigh.
I was tired.
Greetings from Cottage Country, Ontario, Canada!

holdingmoments said...

Lovely capture of the Kestrel Phil.

Adam Jones said...

I really like the Sandwich Tern. I saw some of these in Norfolk just recently.

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