Tiller family birding – without yours truly!

3 09 2009

Bluethroat in hand - Stephen Tiller

Bluethroat in hand - Stephen Tiller

It seems my birding passion has slowly rubbed off onto the rest of my family – next stop complete world domination?! I just got a very nice email from my mum and dad who are on holiday in France and found out that they spent two of their precious days hanging round in a marsh in Northern France watching a ringing (banding) crew doing a banding study on Aquatic Warbler (a rather pretty and cryptically colored old world warbler). Aquatic Warbler are few in number on the planet and seemingly were rapidly becoming fewer due to loss of habitat. They are also quite notable in that much of their breeding population was unknown until fairly recently and equally their wintering range has only just recently been uncovered (see story from 2007 here).

The pictures are of Olivier and his assistant Fabienne. My parents report that the team had caught 40 Aquatic Warblers over the month but that they weren’t lucky enough to get to see one themselves the days they were there. They did however get to see Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Wryneck, Blue Throat and Pied Flycatcher. It seems like the amazing Wryneck (a bizarre looking and amazing member of the woodpecker family which can turn it’s head almost 180 degrees) somewhat stole the show as far as they were concerned. Good to see the family out birding even without my pressurizing them! Even better, I note that my mum still manages to look chic (in her white coat) even whilst trudging round a marsh in France (note the same glamorous stylings in the photo that constitutes my banner).

In similar news my brother sent me a message on facebook asking to identify the cool birds that he is seeing down in Malaysia. At this rate birding is going to be turning into a family obsession – perhaps I need to start sharpening my skills so as to stay ahead of the Tiller pack!!!!