The Bird Thread

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  • Mobbed by a buzzard while out running on Friday. Was running past the top of the aforementioned Dix Pit when I heard a swoosh of air so close to my right ear that I could feel the rush of wind on my cheek. A bit startled, thinking I’d put up a pigeon or something, I looked up and saw a buzzard arching away behind a tree settling just out of sight. I took a few steps back and she was sat atop a spindly birch tree, the top bending over under her weight “peeawwing” at me. After a quick look I jogged on not wanting to disturb her any more than necessary, and as soon as I turned my back another swoosh brushed past my ear. And a few moments later I looked back over my shoulder and came eye to eye with her about 2m away from my face coming in hot. I stumbled to the floor as she swept up and away again and she kept mobbing me for a couple of hundred meters… all pretty exciting and first time I’ve been mobbed like that.

  • Someone needs to get a pic of one of these barn doors. The lammergeier might be back!! 😎

  • It wasn't white, very definitely shades of brown. Had the wing shape of a bird of prey too.

  • We spent a few days in the BC interior, and saw some interesting birds.

    • Osprey in its massive nest
    • Snipe
    • Virginia Rail rummaging around in a swamp
    • Violet-Green Swallow


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  • Violet-Green Swallow

    Beautiful! Short tail?

  • Beautiful! Short tail?

    Yes. We get a few Barn Swallows here, but they're less common, and the other kinds all have short tails. So beautiful, but really hard to photograph well.

  • Went to RSPB Rainham Marshes today. Was very quiet and managed to be in a hide whenever the rain came. Lots of Lapwings, Reed Warblers, Egrets and Wigeons. Also saw a Kestrel and a Marsh Harrier.

  • I find the mention of the 'rock pigeon' (more commonly known in the UK as 'rock dove' and closely-related to and mating with stock doves) in this article rather odd. I can well imagine that pigeon droppings lead to large bills for cleaning up buildings, and that someone may well think that these pigeons are 'invasive' in towns and cities, but having been established in the UK for so long, surely they can't be described as an invasive species here? Undoubtedly, they are where they were introduced more recently.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/­2021/jul/29/invasive-species-have-cost-t­he-uk-at-least-5bn-since-1970s-study-rev­eals-aoe

  • It’s dangerous to comment on something when one hasn’t read the paper properly… at best I’ve skimmed it, but I’d be inclined to agree with you.

    I’m no expert on invasive species but I know that there has been some discussion in the literature about what counts (or should count) as an invasive species from a pragmatic perspective. Many of the species in that paper have been free living in the uk for a long long time (one of the figures implies that all species listed were introduced post Norman Conquest, but I thought several species eg rabbits may even have been Roman introductions) and have such high populations that it would be impossible (or at least untenable) to remove them. Rabbits and rock doves almost certainly fall into this category and might reasonably be described as naturalised rather than invasive species.

    What I also find strange is that the paper categorises costs into “management” and “damage”, but critically there doesn’t seem to be any distinction made about why these species are being managed. For many of the more recent introductions (crayfish/knotweed) a substantial part of the discourse surrounding the management of these species is that they need to be controlled because they are invasive, however I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a farmer complaining about the invasive origins of rabbits… they are simply seen as pests on an equal footing with other costly native species such as roe deer, badgers or foxes.

    I think a more interesting or valuable approach would be to quantify the economic impacts (damage and management) for all UK species and then maybe have a discussion around individual species impacts rather than making an arbitrary threshold for “invasivenes”. The authors might argue that considering all Uk species would be intractable and that they had to constrain their analysis somehow and that invasive species are a convenient and policy relevant segment of species, however their charts show that the vast majority of costs are incurred by a small number of species and so it would be equally manageable and (in my view more interesting) to present the impacts for (say) the top 100 most costly species.

  • The invasive species tag line is probably more news worthy though.

  • I have yet to read the article but can you tell me where Stock Doves and Rock doves / pigeons are known to hybridise? I’ve only ever heard of it by pigeon fanciers forcing a male bird (from a variety of options) on to a female Stock dove in captivity. I suppose it’s in the article. Best read that first I suppose.

  • Assume these are juveniles, any ideas what of? Not from the same location
    Bird 1

    Bird 2

  • Tobacco stained gulls?

  • Black headed gull.

  • There are a pair of woodpeckers on the east marsh at Hackney Marshes.

    North side of it, I see them when I'm doing running interval laps, and they tolerate me for maybe three reps before they fly off

  • Lapwing assemble

  • A 'deceit' of lapwings!

  • I spent yesterday on the Thames in south Oxfordshire so it is not surprising that I saw a kingfisher. What did surprise me was that I managed a couple of photos in which it is recognisable.


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  • Took these chrappy phone photos yesterday. Enormous bird of prey with easily 5 foot wingspan. Caught a small rodent in front of us at about 3000m in the Alps. Totally unphased by our presence.

    We assumed it was a golden eagle at the time but seems to have different colouration on closer inspection. Any ideas?


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  • Def a vulture. Not it’s lammergeier… to the reference books.

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The Bird Thread

Posted by Avatar for salad-cunt @salad-cunt

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