Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bird News, Book News

Early rain gave way to a breezy, bright morning, with time to visit the birding patch at Pilling. No sooner had I arrived at Fluke Hall than I saw SP readying himself for a walk along the wooded road. On Sunday afternoon he located a Yellow-browed Warbler here, a species which is now found almost annually in this part of Lancashire, in some years there are three, four or more records, but it’s still a worthy find and one which requires good birding skills.

Stuart moseyed off east to look in the same place the bird was last seen. I wandered off east towards Ridge Farm where the best I could muster in 15 minutes was cracking views of a male Merlin, 20+ Greenfinch, 12+ Skylark, several Linnets and 15+ Meadow Pipits. The phone rang, he’d re-found the warbler, still about the same spot three days later, so I strolled back to the trees to see and hear the bird in the ash and sycamores next to the road. The warbler was very vocal, calling almost constantly as it moved through the trees, the distinctive call somewhere between a Coal Tit and a Pied Wagtail to my ears. Knowing the call is as good if not the best way to locate a yellow-browed.

There’s a very old pre-digital photograph here from Bardsey Island sometime in the dim and distant past.

Yellow-browed Warbler

I decided to head up to Lane Ends for the incoming tide. If anything the tide was too high, with no obvious roosting spots, causing most of the waders to fly constantly around. For what it’s worth a few observations and a couple of counts: 1 Peregrine, 1 Kestrel, 40 Snipe, 420 Dunlin, 180 Redshank, 250+ Lapwing, 8 Little Egret, 12 Whooper Swan, 800 Wigeon, 700 Teal, 110 Pintail, 15 Meadow Pipit, 15 Linnet and 2 Rock Pipit.


Rock Pipit

And now for some interesting book news, more especially for blog followers in the US but also UK birders who travel to North America and/or those who like to twitch the occasional US bird on this side of the Atlantic.

Readers of Another Bird Blog may remember the review here of Richard Crossley’s ID Guide to Eastern Birds (North America), a book acclaimed for its pioneering approach to bird identification. And here’s the good news, Princeton University Press are preparing a new Crossley guide for release in April 2013, The Crossley Guide to Raptors, this latest volume co-authored by Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan.

The Crossley Guide to Raptors

For the new volume I’m quoting from a sneak preview sent to me by Princeton University Press.

“Part of the revolutionary Crossley ID Guide series, this is the first raptor guide with lifelike scenes composed from multiple photographs - scenes that allow you to identify raptors just as the experts do. Experienced birders use the most easily observed and consistent characteristics - size, shape, behaviour, probability, and general colour patterns. The book’s 101 scenes - including thirty-five double-page layouts, provide a complete picture of how these features are all related. Even the effects of lighting and other real-world conditions are illustrated and explained. Detailed and succinct accounts from two of North America’s foremost raptor experts, Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan, stress the key identification features. This complete picture allows everyone from beginner to expert to understand and enjoy what he or she sees in the field. The mystique of bird identification is eliminated, allowing even novice birders to identify raptors quickly and simply. Comprehensive and authoritative, the book covers all thirty-four of North America’s diurnal raptor species (all species except owls). Each species is featured in stunning colour plates that show males and females, in a full spectrum of ages and colour variants, depicted near and far, in flight and at rest, and from multiple angles, all caught in their typical habitats. There are also comparative, multispecies scenes and mystery photographs that allow readers to test their identification skills, along with answers and full explanations in the back of the book. In addition, the book features an introduction, and thirty-four colour maps that accompany the plates. Whether you are a novice or an expert, this one-of-a-kind guide will show you an entirely new way to look at these spectacular birds”. 

I’m told this book will sell for about $30 only, so all I can suggest is that you visit your bookstore and reserve a copy now or keep watching the Princeton University Press Blog for more info and regular previews of plates from the book.

 The Crossley Raptor Guide

Another Bird Blog will review the book as soon as a copy is received; in the meantime stay tuned for more bird news and bird pictures whether home or abroad.


Rohrerbot said...

That rock Pipit is something!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, thanks for the heads up on the book. I love your Yellow browed Warbler and the pintail in flight is wonderful. Great post.

Gail Dixon said...

The pipit on the lichen covered rock is so cute!!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I really like the Rock pipit...what a neat name...Pipit! I had meant to leave a comment yesterday and this morning upon turning on my laptop, there was still the empty comment box. Happy Friday, Happy weekend~

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