Monday, 9 December 2013

Mediterranean Mandarin.

Currently embarked to a vessel operated by a Chinese company with 94% Chinese crew- very helpful and friendly but certainly an experience! I'm one of only 3 'westerners' onboard. Aside from getting used to the menu, trying to use chop sticks in heavy seas and the obvious language challenges, my only gripe is the appalling internet connection- so bad I can only load my gmail in HTML format! Have been trying to update this blog for days but the pages keep dropping out - adding photos. is a real challenge......but here goes...

A trickle of vis. mig. is still ongoing with pied wagtail, robin, black redstart, and song thrush all recorded on deck. A brief encounter with a large, dark-headed sylvia warbler on the deck (could have been an  Orphean) was the highlight bird- unfortunately my 10 second view did not offer much scope for a firm ID. Rather surprisingly I have also recorded a number of flocks of cormorants all flying due south- I had not realised that this species undertakes such obvious migrations- unless these flocks are merely undertaking localised movements?

Sea birds have been largely restricted to a few of the larus sp. gulls including lbb, yellow-legged and herring. A few gannets have also been counted and a single bonxie this morning was a bonus. 20 or so Med. gulls have been the real star birds thus far- even in their winter plumage the adults look very smart.

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