Saturday, March 1, 2014

The late winter lull

Late Feb and early March are a fairly quiet time on my local patch.  Many winterers seem to have dispersed to better habitat or are keeping a low profile as they undertake their prenuptial moult, some resident breeders are thinking about breeding, and migration is still a few weeks away. It is at this time of year that I look back and remember that even up until mid December there is still some inward movement of migrants, and late December and January hold the possibility of birds being displaced by cold fronts, but February sees the temperature climb and the bird activity drop away as the month progresses.

This morning's session on the patch reflected this with only singles of Asian Brown Fly and Yellow-browed Warbler, two Taiga Flycatchers, one Black Drongo and two Brown Shrikes seen, whilst Thick-billed Warblers were conspicuous by their complete absence. Sadly the Siberian Rubythroats have also abandoned the park it seems. One highlight was a peregrine seen briefly over the park after a failed stoop at one of the local feral pigeons.

I spent a bit more time studying the Pond Herons, following on from recent discussions on ID and moult.

Chinese PH (all birds above are one individual)
Chinese Pond Heron (different individual)
apparent Javan Pond Heron
Pond Heron spp
Pond Heron spp, same bird as immediately above. Note buff-washed coverts
Javan Pond Heron

1 comment:

Linda said...

Your photos are beautiful. Greetings from Montreal, Canada.