Saturday, 26 May 2012

Slight Return - James Marshall Hendrix

Even though the Banded Stilt had been seen yesterday, there was an element of uncertainty as to whether it should be added to the World List which brought back memories of 2 similar cases of let's say controversy concerning judging the quality of such an addition. The first centred on a Baltimore Oriole at Roch, South Wales in 1989 when, 'in company', I seem to remember it was me who re-located it? Paul Harris was alongside me and soon got onto this 'mega rarity' which we were in fact viewing as a reflection in someones kitchen window. The conversation on the way home revolved round the ethic of, had we not seen it in the flesh later in the day, would we count it - would you???? The second will be touched on later as it also concerns a matter of coincidence.Anyway, it was a good day to return to Hutt Lagoon in the hope of more birds.

There are 2 ways of reaching Port Gregory from Horrocks, one is along the metalled road via Northampton, alternatively a cross country, more direct dirt road. Choosing the latter yesterday, thinking there was more likelihood of wildlife, in so doing counted no fewer than 27 Red-capped Robins (including 3 full-blown males) on this 12Km stretch. Taking the same route this morning, I was in hot pursuit of photographs but only saw one male and 4 distant fems. You would understand the determination if you had ever seen a photo of a male, so good job the loner was on a barbed -wire fence not 10 feet from the car.
what a bird
and what a poser? No sooner had I taken up station at the Salt Pans, and before seeing anything else, this
almost landed on the wing-mirror. A charming little thing in its own right,
this second bird was captured later in the day.
along with GREY TEAL and
RICHARD'S PIPIT were added to the rapidly increasing new list. Sat there quietly watching, a nearby movement caught my eye and looking down saw this
AUSTRALIAN (Spotted) CRAKE at very close quarters.
Repositioning to get a shot was difficult, and a couple of times it retreated to the undergrowth but eventually grew bolder remaining on view for ages.
Whether this species should already be on my World List was the other point of conjecture arising during the 2007 trip to Aus.
On that occasion I found a pond holding a number of Chestnut Teal, a 'lifer' at the time, affording good views and a good photo opportunity. 
Editing the images that evening, there in one of the shots was an Australian Crake which had been overlooked. I never did count it but today that issue was redressed - TICK! An excellent day already, it may sound churlish to moan about the absence of Waders and Stilts but none were showing today. Time for lunch, which as yesterday was taken at the seafront, and just to sit there watching the rollers of the Indian Ocean crashing over the exposed reef gave a great feeling of well being.
Yes, it's PACIFIC GULL time again
as the temptation is too great not to click away at such a mighty bird.
PIED OYSTERCATCHER were also showing well, so why not? Click, Click!
Returning to the Pans, things appeared unchanged except for a few tiny birds foraging in the vegitation.
At first glance it seemed they were a Plover of sorts, but when one took flight and landed in a bush it became clear they were not.
Again the Mighty Midget was brought into play allowing identification of WHITE-FRONTED CHAT which had been added to the World List only a few days ago. This area was proving very fruitful and with every chance of catching up with the afore mentioned it has already been decided on another return tomorrow.


  1. Well if you want my opinion the Banded Stilt is more tickable than a reflection of a Baltimore Oriole! You may not have sussed the Stilt at the time but you did actually see the bird, albeit subliminally. There's no shame in not ID'ing a bird until later, most especially when you are abroad. You can count that one with my blessings! Now, I recall the Oriole very well, the story is as Bagsy says, although I'd previously seen it in flight. Personally I'd not count a species if I'd only seen a reflection, I need to see the bird itself! Cheers Bomber

  2. Good to here from you Paul, your recollections make me smile. Good 'birding' days - here's hoping for more to come. See you on my Return (Slight or otherwise), yours aye. Bagsy