Friday, 18 October 2013

Little and large

More raptor action today with falcons from both ends of the size spectrum turning up. This delightful merlin put in an appearance midday and spent a few hours dashing around the ship's superstructure before eventually roosting on the foremast. At least one unwary redstart was caught during this tiny falcon's rounds.
merlin with redstart
Later in the fading light a real thumper came down from the north and briefly landed. I had a good long look at this bird- initially I thought it was a Saker, then I thought it was a lanner. From a plumage perspective it seemed to share characteristics of both species. In the end I relied on the structure of the bird to cinch (I think) the ID as a saker- the tail was very long and extended way beyond the tips of the primaries. I'll be delighted if someone can assist with the ID though.

saker (probably)
Also added yellowhammer, twite, stonechat and goldcrest to the ever-lengthening migrant species list for the trip.
A migratory, roosting bat species was also a bonus find- desperately trying to shelter from the wind and rain in a coil of line.
bat sp.

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