Monday, 10 July 2017

2017 Photographic Big Year 74, Mega-Rarity ,

Week 27: It was an interesting week of birding which ended with a tally of 52 species. The highpoint came on Saturday 8th when I acted as guide for a visiting Canadian birder, Martin Gebauer.  This 10 hour marathon birding excursion took us from one end of the island to the next, from hotspots to little known birding nooks and crannies ending that day with 47 species which included one lifer – a mega-rarity for the island.  

A Greater Blue Heron on Thursday 6th and an Osprey on Saturday 8th took me by surprise as I was not expecting to see these birds at this time of year.  What it does emphasize is that the Southern Migration is well on its way. 

Lifer 130, a Mega-rarity and the 74th Bird

One Bird encompasses all of these labels.  It is a bird I saw on Saturday 8th at SBRC while on a birding tour.  The bird was quite a distance away and at first sight I thought it was the Osprey I had seen just minutes before but Martin said it could not have been as the underparts were not white.  After changing position we had good looks of it in flight and even better views with the help of a scope when it perched.  The bird was mostly brownish in color, yellow legs, and a sharp down-curved black bill which had a yellowish base.

It was without a doubt a Black Kite Milvus migrans.  Black Kites are between 21 -23 inches in length with a wing span of over 4 feet.  This raptor can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia and winters in tropical Africa and the Middle East, migrating south Aug–Oct and returning from mid-April.  Saturday’s sighting of a Black Kite represents only the second sighting for the island with the first being on November 12th, 2008 in the parish of St. Lucy. 

The Black Kite made it to my 2017 Photographic Big Year album weighting at number 74.

74 - Black Kite Milvus migrans

This has been an exciting start to the migration season; stay tuned to this blog to see what else turns up. 
Until then Enjoy your Birding!! 

Here are other images from that week.