Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heron v Gull

On my Thames Towpath run today watched a Common Gull attacking a Grey Heron. Quite a crowd gathered as it went on for at least 10 mins. The gull was divebombing like a falcon, and then occasionally swooping in along the water 'under the radar'. If it attacked from the front, the Heron would attack back with its bill, but it didnt see the attacks coming from other directions and yelped with shock whilst ducking.
Eventually the gull gave up, and the heron decided it would then move on anyhow.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Life List

I have completed a count of all my records and am now at 699

Abu Dhabi 21 Jun 2008

2 Day business trip. Anticipating the opportunity I asked for advice on the UAE birding forum. The response was initally discouraging..... "Gut reaction? Stay in your hotel and watch the National Geographic channel or BBC Wildlife! Its hot hot hot here now... If you want to try something a bit more adventurous, get out your suncream, hat and a truck-load of water and try this option: Take a taxi to the area next to (west of) the Emirates Palace Hotel (called 'Khalidiyah' or, to a taxi-driver, the public beach). From the western breakwater you can view a channel where you have a chance of Saunder's, Bridled and White-cheeked Terns, plus Socotra Cormorant. If you look from the public beach back towards the city you'll see the remains of a fine row of mature trees that used to form a huge rectangle round the area between the public beach and the other end of the Emirates Palace grounds. The remaining trees should hold the odd Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, and possibly a Rufous Bush Robin."

It was indeed hot, but I followed the advice and had a good outing. At the breakwater I saw Laughing Doves, a Cormorant - but I couldnt say it was Socotra, and BRIDLED TERNS. In the stand of trees were many WHITE CHEEKED BULBULS, INDIAN HOUSE CROW (pic), Purple Sunbird, and some Sandgrouse. An early evening walk in thje cOrniche park yielded Graceful Prinia (pic).