Friday 13 January 2017

CSI: Birding

Lade - cold, grey, wintry showers, nw 5 - Following on from yesterdays rain deluge, and a crunching overnight frost, sleet and snow showers prevailed throughout the day making it feel properly like winter. A circuit of the local patch delivered a redhead Smew on north lake and a Great White Egret tucked into the main reed bed. In the biting wind it was no surprise few passerines were on show.
   We walked back along the beach at midday, more to check on how much the spring tide and North Sea tidal surge would effect the height of the sea, but there was nothing to worry about; infact, it was much higher on the previous surge in 2015.
   Some local news concerned a small flock of Waxwings frequenting Hythe town centre, anywhere between the old Red Lion and Waitrose, and adjacent streets with berry-bearing trees and bushes.

                            Acadian Flycatcher, Empidonax virescens, Dungeness

CSI: Birding - DNA-based identification of birds - An article by J Martin Collinson in the January edition of British Birds was of particular interest in light of the recent Stejneger`s Stonechat conundrum at Lydd-on-Sea. The author maps out not only the science and techniques behind DNA-based bird identification, but also proffers practical information useful for both birders and ringers. For Dungeness aficionados the detective work behind the 2015 Acadian Flycatcher is featured.
A fascinating read and worthwhile seeking out the latest copy of BB. 
PS: En-route to Canterbury this afternoon at least three Waxwings were noted in back garden trees of High Knocke Estate from the main A259 Dymchurch Road, St Mary`s Bay.

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