Sunday, June 06, 2010


I was sitting at the screen hide on lapwing lane not so long ago doing a count.There was a Great Crested Grebe on a nest at the tip of the small line of trees in front of the hide, plenty of Gadwall, Mallard, and Tufties about... a late Pochard, a Cormorant, two Little Grebes, a pair of Mute Swans, four Canada Geese, several Coot and a few Moorhen. I heard a voice behind me and turned to see an elderly gentleman in tweeds striding briskly toward me with a rather diminuitive old dear trotting behind. My guess was he was ex-army, as he had that General Melchett air about him and the voice to match. He ignored me completely (of course) and sat down on the bench to my right.

"Here we are!" he announced to his wife loudly. She sat beside him.

"What are we looking at dear?" she asked timidly.

"Ducks!" he barked, authoritatively without so much of a glance at the lake.

"Oh", replied his wife. "Isn't that a Moorhen dear?" she asked, pointing out the Coot in front of the hide as a Little Grebe bobbed up beside it.

"No." he trumpeted confidently "All ducks!"

The little lady smiled politely at me as he marched off with her some way behind.

Where do you start really? BAAAAAAAAAHHH!


  1. a claim for Honey Buzzard today on the reserve - any idea who had it?
    Info from bird forums - no other details - helluva patch tick and a tricky one to call!!

  2. Not heard about it from any of the local lads, so bit of a mystery. Ya see NOW I'm torn... usual cynism v Black Kite of 2005 lol... I'll ask around.

  3. Mystery revealed. Chap sent pix of bird he'd seen at Moore to Birdguides who ID'd it as Honey Buzzard and posted it up. I've seen the pix though and as far as I can tell, it's a 2nd calendar year (juv) COMMON Buzzard in moult.

  4. had a look via bird-guides - its a Common for me too, showing feather moult and no obvious head/neck forward projection for a Honey...

    Oh well, another mystery solved - nice one Mark.

  5. Yeah, barring ages it as a juv I reckon, but there's too many bars (6-7) for it to be Honey (4-5) I thought and the moult's all wrong. It's already regrown P1 and almost P2 (just a little shorter) and it's missing P3-P5 I think on both wings, although there's a suggestion that P3 is starting to grow back on the right wings. Takes 2 weeks to grow a primary, give or take I thought, so must have started moult beginning of May. Even Juvenile Honeys are only starting about now. PLUS it's moulting tail feather simultaneaously, which Common's do... I've posted on Birdguides asking why it's not 2nd Calendar year Common. Curious about what makes it Honey - bet that'll go down well :|

  6. Good man - I like a bit of 'tilting at Windmills' birding...

  7. Then onwards Sancho dear friend... we shall slay the giants all! ;)