Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Ring-billed Portugull, Lisbon 30 July 2013

Having just returned from a two week family holiday in Spain and Portugal I thought that I would post this beauty first - a moulting first summer to second winter Ring-billed Gull on the seafront at the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. This unexpected transatlantic bonus was pretty much the last bird that I saw on the whole trip and was the successful conclusion to a short gull photographing stroll along the front.

This individual seemed quite large, so presumably is a male as it did not seem that much smaller than a nearby lusitanius Yellow-legged Gull, more of which in a future post...

Friday, 12 July 2013

New lens, old favourites

Young Jackdaw with 'brown' plumage mutation? One of two out of a hundred or so that were brown rather than black and grey
Took my new lens for a walk today. Was planning to buy it before I went to Malaysia, and while there were plenty of moments when it would have been handy, the thought of its first trip being into the haze of Sumatra was too much for me. So what did I test the L glass on - old favourites: corvids and gulls... Pretty pleased with the results...

Ah, one of my other old favourites - a lovely hooded Black-headed Gull
A juvenile Black-headed Gull - nice to see a couple of this year's young already on the wing

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Black-napes beat white-belly

My favourite sequence of shots from Pulau Tioman - a sub-adult White-bellied Sea Eagle being ushered away from a nesting colony of Black-naped Terns. The terns definitely had the upper hand and landed many direct hits during this encounter. We were lucky enough to watch from the sun deck of our dive boat as we ate our nasi goreng lunch - sometimes life is just too good!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Oriental Bay Owl, Pulau Tioman, Malaysia, July 2013

I have just returned from a great two week trip to Singapore and Malaysia. Not a birding trip as such but some really good opportunities to observe wildlife thrown in. Here's the bird of the trip, an unexpected Oriental Bay Owl at Melina Beach, Pulau Tioman. Found while I was looking for interesting mammals in the forest at about 4:30 am, quite a weird experience to be off trail at night alone but the mammals, reptiles and this bird certainly made it worth it. The owl was silent and was consuming what looked to be a large forest rat of some species. I only had a compact camera, but it has done a good job of capturing the plumage. Probably the bird of the year for me - even more exciting than the snowy owl as this one was not even on my radar - as far as I know this species has never been recorded on Pulau Tioman before... That's all for now - jet-lag calls...