18 March 2007

Black Crowned Night Heron

I took a walk down the river near my flat and the same Night Heron was still there. I decided to go back and get my small 50mm Kowa Prominar 504 Scope and get some pics. Not bad for handheld shots (no adapter) on a crappy lightweight tripod. It helpled of course that the bird was completely motionless most of the time. There was another one downstream too. I'm not 100% sure of the status of this species in Hakodate. I'd assumed they were summer vistors (I often see immature birds from July to October) but I've seen several this winter. Perhaps the mild weather has resulted in them overwintering. I remember the first one of these I ever saw. Redscar, on the Ribble upstream from Preston on a balmy May evening in 1987 just before my A-levels.

Not much else about. The Thayers Gull seems to have gone. The usual common winter birds were about. I reached the beach and had a quick look out to sea. A few Red Necked Grebes, Black Scoters and red Breasted Mergansers were bobbing around on a slightly rough ocean.

I'm debating whether to buy A DSLR. You know I think I just might. Maybe.

Boring games last night. Why do Man U and Chelsea always win? I forgot the England v Wales Rugby game was on (turns out I was lucky there). I listened to the England/NZ cricket right up until Flintoff was out for a duck. Still at least I'm not a Pakistan fan. Ireland! Bangladesh! Who said the minnows shouldn't be there?

Around 18th March down the years:

1983 (March 19) A female Black Redstart on the river at Penwortham. Still the only Black Redstart I've seen in the UK (though I've seen lots in Europe). Also a very early Wheatear.

1986 (March 19th-) Blairgowrie Scotland, A Geography A level field trip. God it was cold. Memorable for 2 shameful reasons. The first of only 2 times in my life when I didn't make it to the bathroom in time (and the second time at least involved food posoining and heavy drinking). The second was the only time I've ever worn women's clothes and make-up (it was a kind of joke for someone's birthday party. No really it was). No particularly interesting birds though I did see a white Arctic Hare. I'm on the right with the gloves and when this photo was taken my bowels were ok I think. God knows what the other people in the photo are doing now. It's a bit wonky. I know.

1987 (March 22nd) A Woodcock flew over my parents' house in Penwortham.

1989 (March 21st) Fleetwood and Lytham. Purple Sandpiper, Commmon Eider and lots of commmon waders.

2003 (March 19) "Unidentified immature Eagle" flying over Hakodate. I think this may have been a Stellers which still isn't on my local patch list yet.

2004 (March 17-20). Hakodate. Kittiwake, Brambling, Long Tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Yellow Throated Bunting, Siskin, Peregrine, Kingfisher, Black Scoter and Red Necked Grebe.

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