Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Flight ops.

As is so often the case, a vessels' helideck often proves attractive to passing migrants. I assume from the perspective of a migrant bird it is the most attractive, safe option- generally clear of obstructions, normally devoid of personnel due to the exhaustive HSE rules n regs. and in wet weather it is often similar to a fresh water pool- obviously attractive when flying over the open ocean. On my latest survey it attracted two cattle egrets, semipalmated plovers, a semipalmated sandpiper, two least sandpipers and several passerines including fork-tailed flycatcher and small-billed elaenia- the latter bird proving very difficult to identify as initially it was thought to be one of the Epidonax flycatchers moving down from North America. A short-tailed swift did a number of incredibly fast sorties around the ship and eventually roosted under the helideck for a nights rest. 

cattle egret
Fork-tailed flycatcher
Least sandpiper
Semipalmated plover
Short-tailed swift- at speed!
small-billed elaenia- photo. Chris McCullough.

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