‘At whatever moment you read these words, day or night, there are birds aloft in the skies of the Western Hemisphere, migrating’.
As birders you know that these words in the opening to Weidensaul’s ‘Living on the Wind:across the hemisphere with migratory birds’ to be true. However to see it happen and know something about a bird and where it has come from still give me a great feeling.
Having just ‘twitched’ Goosander’ on Leazes Park Lake. I had to still try to find something of my own. There on the ice in amongst 50-60 other Black-headed Gulls was a bird with a white readable ring on its leg. T90N. Trust me even though the photos wont allow you to zoom in.
With a little help from @saddinall who pointed me in the direction of http://www.cr-birding.org/ It was easy to track down which ringing scheme this bird had been part of. Poland.
Its easy to complete a form of your sightings and within 24 hours I had an email back with the following attachment.
Western Pomerania is about 700 miles due east of Newcastle and it felt like I had been connected to a great moving wheel of migration.
OK, at at somewhere over 5 years old it may not be the 32 year record from Holland but it was an individual amongst the masses. And I am hooked and now want to find more.
Oh, if you do not own a copy of Weidensaul’s book order one right now. Whilst it is set in North, South and Central America birds know no boundaries.
I did not mean to do this, but once I had gone past half way it seemed inevitable. I have now submitted a complete list to BirdTrack for each of the 25 tetrads in NZ26.
The scores on the doors look like this with regard to the number of species.
e 33 19 21 16 23 z
15 6 9 26 20
20 20 21 20 24
24 27 17 23 37
a 34 31 32 19 21 v
Two stand out as being really low and I have to say there is not much on Town Moor and Nun’s Moor on a very windy January day.
The stand out surprise in the high numbers as I have already commented is tetrad w (Bill Quay, the Tyne and Walker Riverside with 37 species and must have a lot more to offer during the rest of the year.
Of the 695 submissions to bird track only 1 species made it onto the list of all 25 tetrads -Blue Tit. Helped no end my the mild start to the year they seem to be singing everywhere. Even in areas that may not provide enough caterpillars to feed a hungry brood, but more on that as we go through 2015
Other species came close, appearing in 23 or 24 tetrads including this species.
This is added for no other reason than it is part of my first attempts at digiscoping. For the princely sum of £2.01 for a phonecover, a milk bottle top and some super glue I am able to convert my iphone 4 and the Kowa 501 scope my Dad gave me into a reasonable telephoto lens. This has the potential to make future blogs more colourful.
I do not intend to do all the tetrads every month. And the challenge for February is to go to the best bits of the best tetrads to the get the year list up from its current 64. However to let you know what I think the best bits are I intend the next blog to be an A-Z of NZ26.