Monday, February 22, 2010

Female Wigeon

One I digiscoped a couple of weekends back at March Farmers, Nene Washes.

Slow progress

Blimey, my 2010 local (PBC) year list is going along at snail's pace compared to the last two bumper years. This weekend I did manage to add Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Cetti's Warbler (both heards). But I am running out of winter for certain species and will need to dig deep for the likes of Smew (traditionally straightforward but very tough locally this winter) and Mealy Redpoll.
There are a group of three Taiga Bean Geese I wouldn't mind a gander at (!), which have been in the Nene Washes/Prior's Fen (?) area for weeks now. They wouldn't be a species year tick (I ahd the earlier Tundra Beans), but would be a PBC subspecies tick for me.
Highlights this year have been a bit thin species-wise locally, but I have bagged Scaup and Bittern in addition to the beasts I've mentioned.
And what with reports of Mealy Redpolls, Firecrest and Bearded Tit (Woodwalton Fen) and the likes of Grey Plover at the Nene Washes, it is time I joined the yearly battle...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jamaica birds: other non-endemics

Turkey Vulture

Little Blue Heron (juvenile)

Tricoloured Heron

Snowy Egret

Olive-throated Parakeet (Jamaican endemic subspecies)

Northern Mockingbird

Great White Egret

Magnificent Frigatebird


American Kestrel

Sleeping Barn Owl

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Jamaica birds: Other endemics

Jamaican SPindalis (female above, male below)

Black-billed Parrot

Orangequit (male)

Jamaican Euphonia

Jamaican Crow

Blue Mountain Vireo

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Jamaica birds: Pigeons

Mountain Witch, the Crested Quail-dove

Ring-tailed Pigeon
Both are endemics, the pigeon (like a slim Woodpigeon in build) being easy to find and the Witch much more problematic. Luckily, I was with our driver/manager of the Abbey Green coffee plantation, Omar, whose incredible eyes spotted this individual perched still and very close. They are pretty big and chunky birds for quail-doves and make quite a clatter when flushed.

Jamaica birds: Icterids

Jamaican Oriole

Greater Antillean Grackle

Jamaican Blackbird
Of these three, the blackbird is the only real endemic (the oriole also is found on San Andres island, Colombia). The grackle is a canny grub-nicker, which will pinch your breakfast if you are not careful. The blackbird is said to be one of the hardest endemics to encounter. Perhaps this is because they spend their time creeping around trees looking for morsels. Despite these terrible pics, this blackbird was less than 5m away from us, seemingly oblivious.

Jamaica birds: Flycatchers

Stolid Flycatcher

Rufous-tailed Flycatcher

Jamaican Pewee

Loggerhead Kingbird
Of the flycatchers, we saw perhaps half-a-dozen or so Rufous-tailed Flycatchers (endemic), only two or three Jamaican Pewees (endemic), a few Sad Flycatchers (endemic, no pics) and loads and loads of Loggerhead Kingbirds. I found one Stolid Flycatcher (endemic subspecies) just outside Kingston, at Two Caves, on the Portland Ridge, while (unsuccessfully) searching for Bahama Mockingbird. Sadly we missed the endemic Jamaican Elaenia, but we did see a pair of the chunky flycatcher-like endemic Jamaican Becard (again, no pic).