Good news for the Kakapo

20 03 2009

After the mainly bad news in the state of the bird report post and the Spoonbill Sandpiper report yesterday here’s a slightly cheerier note on the flightless Kakapo from New Zealand (story here). On the same note there is an interesting series in the making where Stephen Fry, who is the ex-comedy partner of Hugh Laurie (House), follows in the footsteps of Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) to see some of the most endangered creatures on the planet. The above clip is from the series and there is a great accompanying website to the series (here). At the moment the video elements seem to be down – I hope it’s not blocked here in the US as some BBC content ca be>

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/





Common Gull? West Haven

20 03 2009

Common Gull - Luke Tiller

Common Gull - Luke Tiller

Nick Bonomo seems to be on a mission to get a clean sweep of every uncommon gull possible in the North East this winter. He spotted this probable adult Common Gull at Bradley Point this morning in West Haven and although I have seen a thousand of these in the UK I thought it would be fun to pop along and see one in comparisson with some Ring-billeds. The obvious field marks in my lousy record shot are this birds dark eye and the slender, smaller, fairly lightly marked bill. In the field it looked slightly smaller than surrounding Ring-billeds and to me the legs seemed pretty green toned. In some guides this bird will be illustrated as Mew Gull however it seems that the initial thoughts are that this is more likely that this bird is the European subspecies on this bird Larus canus canus as opposed to the North American subspecies Larus canus brachyrhynchus, but I’m sure better pictures and notes from the field will confirm one way of the other. One of the keys is in the primary pattern in flight or with stretched wings which I must admit I didn’t observe well enough. Cool bird Nick, thanks for the phone call.

EDIT: More and much better pictures online on Nick’s blog (here). Mark Szantyr also posted his pictures online now (here).