The strong winds brought this rather dark first winter Glauc into Peterhead at the weekend.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
This post illustrates some of the variability in 1w Herrings that it is possible to see in a single day in NE Scotland. We have a mix of argentatus and argenteus at this time of year, with the latter breeding locally. Shown above is a rather pale bird, with a very white ground colour to the tail
A beautiful fresh looking bird that has retained all but a few first generation scapulars.
It is not too unusual to see bird with such pale primaries.
A paler-end and rather contrasting underwing.
A very dark and uniform underwing. I had (perhaps foolishly) hoped that there might be some consistent differences in the underwing between Herring and Vega Gulls of this age, but the variability of the former, as illustrated by these birds, rather limits the value of any 'average' differences.
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
This short trip was designed as an escape from a dull Aberdeen winter. We (Paul Baxter, Hywel Maggs, Phil Crockett and myself) wanted to see a small number of target birds and so took advantage of cheap Ryanair flights for a 4 day trip to key high Atlas and desert sites. These are a few pictures from the trip. Thick-billed Lark (above) was the main target and we managed to see this beauty at Tagdilt.
The high Atlas - Oukaimedene. This site is a good spot for some nice high elevation birds....
A key target - Crimson-winged Finch
Crimson-winged Finch. This proved easy at Oukaimedene
Alpine Accentor. A small group at the radar station of Oukaimedene
Atlas Shore Lark. Very abundant and easy to see at Oukaimedene.
Dades Valley - magical.
Another shot of Dades - the lower part of the valley
Again, the lower part of the Dades valley - Bonellis Eagles above and North African Great Spotted Woodpeckers below
Southern Grey Shrike (algeriensis)
The same bird
We visited the Tagdilt track for some nice desert birding. This pic is of one of many Hoopoe Larks seen here.
Lesser Short-toed lark.
Paul photographing Temminks Horned larks at Tagdilt.