Sunday, 2 April 2017

2017 Photographic Big Year 47-50

Week 13 was a scorcher! It was very hot but the days were beautiful with a bright blue cloudless sky, for the most part, and the birding was not too bad. I had a rarity, two swallows and a sandpiper to add to the big year gallery.

The Rarity

50 -Purple Heron - Ardea purpurea
I saw this bird, a (50) Purple Heron, on Friday afternoon in the parish of St. Andrew.  These series of irrigation ponds are not often visited by birders but I was in the area so took a look and was surprised to see this bird.  Straight away I knew it was a Purple Heron because of its chestnut color and the dark stripe that runs down the back of its neck.  These shy herons are between 31–38 inches in length and breeds in Eurasia region.

Two Swallows

47 - Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica

It is not surprising to see (47) Barn Swallows at this time of the year, what was surprising for me was to see over 70 of these birds on the powerline as I was driving through the eastern parish of St. Philip.  I took a few images of the flock which consisted of adult and juvenile birds with some in the process of molting but on closer inspection of the images I noticed a (49) Cliff Swallow in the midst. I hope to visit the area again when I can and hopefully the swallows will still be around.
49 - Cliff Swallow - Petrochelidon pyrrhonota


I have been noticing an increase of sandpipers, mainly peeps, and Semipalmated Plovers.  On a morning visit to one of the swamps I was able to get some nice images of (48) Semipalmated Sandpipers wading in the shallows.
48 - Semipalmated Sandpiper - Calidris pusilla

These four additions to my 2017 Photograph Big Year gallery brings the total to 50 species. With still a few commoners to tick off I should reach 60 species by the end of next month.

Keep following and enjoy your birding.