Friday, 30 March 2012

Super- subs!

The first proper rain in over a month brought some lovely fresh air to the morning. By 10:30 in light drizzle I was in a right tizz- I had seen 9 migrant passerines all as silhouettes and all flying away from me- I didn't manage to pin an ID on a single bird! Every time I moved around the ship and rounded an obstruction something was always flying off- so frustrating. Then it brightened up and the birds were gone! During the afternoon as we neared the coast of Libya things started to pick up again with singles of robin, kestrel, wheatear, and pied wagtail putting in an appearance. A small nervous bird then caught my eye. Initially I thought 'whitethroat' but I eventually pinned down a cracking male subalpine warbler. (30th positively ID'd bird species for the voyage- :))). This was joined shortly afterwards by two more- a second male and a female. A very jaunty chiffchaff tipped up 30 minutes later. Walking around some pallets on the deck I heard a thin, waderish- like 'pwee', and was treated to a flurry of wings as a quail burst into the air and circled the ship before heading north! Great stuff!

As I have found out to my chagrin on numerous occasions, it is not possible to use any real 'fieldcraft' on the open decks of a ship. This means that although it is often possible to get close views of some birds, as soon as you lift a pair of bins or a camera they flit elsewhere. Unfortunately this was the case with the subalps. and so I only managed photos. of partially obscured birds- or rather distant shots.

subalpine warbler


  1. Looks like you're having a great time.

  2. Some great moments for sure! Looking forward to catching up for some 'proper' birding when I return- and we must discuss our proposed Shetland visit!