Thursday, July 20, 2006

I and the Bird #28


Ah, my friends. Welcome to I and the Bird #28. I am Katie, your host for this evening. It is a great honour to have you all here. Tonight, I have gifts from the four corners of the globe for you to savour. No time to lose, so let's crack on with the posts, eh?

  • One of the fantastic things about IATB is that you read about birds you didn't know existed. Powerful Owl, Ninox strenua, anyone? Duncan's seen 'em in the outback and he's got the pictures to prove it, over at Ben Cruachan Blog.
  • On the other hand, surely just about everyone's familiar with the mighty Peregrine, Falco peregrinus. But not many people get as close as Amy of RiverBlog. And with those talons, you might not want to, either...
  • At Rigor Vitae, Carel Brest van Kempen writes about Peregrines setting up home in the most unlikely of situations.
  • Peregrines certainly are flavour of the month on IATB. And why not? Roger from Words & Pictures joins the throng, with fascinating findings about the Peregrines nesting on Derby Cathedral.
  • Despite the doom-and-gloom reports you read in the news, birds can thrive in close proximity to humans, as Andy of [the weirdly-named] Spiderlick shows with his lovely tale (and photo) of Grey Wagtails, Motacilla cinerea.
  • Blogging from possibly our most obscure, exotic location yet, Papua New Guinea (north of Australia, folks), David Ringer's Search and Serendipity post explains how some pesky ants made a 'gray and wet' day into something very special.
  • Conditions looked less than ideal for J Pat, from Eureka Nature, on his annual Bird Day Hike, but he found a semi-precious bird. Read on to find out what...
  • David (Science Boy) is a Kiwi and he's not afraid to show it. No, not a small, greeny, fuzzy fruit, or a weird brown bird with nostrils on the end of its beak, but a New Zealander. He's your guide for a tour of the much-neglected Aramoana area now.
  • Another Kiwi, Pohangina Pete, says: 'I don’t attempt to clean my bum with my back legs'. So that's alright, then. Join him to find out why midwinter is a good time to be in that neck of the woods.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Seems that Pam's White-winged Doves, Zenaida asiatica, at Tortoise Trail are following that mantra to the letter (they win the booby prize for world's least-safe-looking nest, though).
  • Are you a birder?
  • Or perhaps a birdwatcher, chaser, lister, twitcher, robin-stroker or dude? Or none of the above? Doesn't really matter, as long as you enjoy the birds, says Leigh on Alis Volat Propiis.
  • Just when you thought that scientific names were useful, Rick from Birdaz.com reminds you that gulls' names are totally useless. Black-headed Gull should be Larus melanocephalus, but it's not, obviously... Go and swot up now...
  • Making his IATB debut, Richard from Wild West Yorkshire has strayed no further than the bottom of his garden to bring us brilliant artwork inspired by a humble Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus.

  • Lillian and Don explain why their birding journal is the best way to start their day at Bobolink Farm, every day.
  • We all like seeing birds close to our own homes, but as Rob 'The Birdchaser' shows, it doesn't always work for the birds involved!
  • Mike, who wants to see 10,000 Birds, reports that there's a heatwave in the US (same here in Blighty), but at least he's seen some good birds lately. Does anybody here like Heermann's Gulls, Larus heermanni?
  • 'More photos than you can shake a stick at' is possibly one way to describe Pewit, the blog of Graham 'The Cat' Catley. Last month, he journeyed to The Far North in search of birds and returned with a huge number of pics, including these gorgeous Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica).
  • Steve the Toadsnatcher has also been 'oop north' but 'only' as far as Shetland and Orkney, the northernmost bits of the UK. Long, long days make good birding, as the photos show.
  • In contrast, Mike Weedon (of Weedon's World of Nature fame) visited Sowth Effrica recently. Like a crocodile, he seems to have spent most of his time lounging around waterholes, but the waiting certainly paid off...
  • Patrick, normally resident at The Hawk Owl's Nest, has also been south and accidentally saw some great birds on the way.
  • Not forgetting Charlie Moores (oops!)... well, he's been east to Dubai and returned with a whole tange of goodies, including some Sooty Gulls, Larus hemprichii.
  • And what have I brought to the party? Sad stories of albatrosses from the Southern Hemisphere, but there's a good cause behind it all - 19 out of 21 albatross species face extinction! Read about what the Save the Albatross campaign is doing about it, then do your bit to help. Please.
That brings this evening's proceedings to a close. I hope you've enjoyed yourself and don't forget to send something for the next I and the Bird...