Categories
Me Nature

Egypt

List from Taba Heights (a dive resort in Egypt): House Sparrow, Blackstart, White-crowned Wheatear, Spectacled Bulbul, Laughing Dove, Collared Dove, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Rock/Crag Martin (not sure), Swift, Kestrel, Sooty Gull, European Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Mangrove Heron.

The Bee-eaters are probably the pick of that list, though I didn’t see any of them very well. The distribution maps in the book were clearly unreliable for the area, and I never managed to decide whether they were Rock Martin or Crag Martin.

One day I spent some time trying to track down a bird I could hear making a loud ‘chk chk’ call – I thought possibly a warbler. Eventually I was looking directly into a bouganvillea, not more than 4-5 feet away, and I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t see the damn bird, and I realised that on the wall directly behind the bouganvillea was… a gecko.

Categories
Nature

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

I didn’t blog this last week, but before it gets any further into the past – how fabulous that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is still with us. It brightened my morning more than any piece of news I can remember for a long time. And I’m not even American, I just know about the IBW from my US bird guide. Short of them finding a previously unknown colony of Slender-billed Curlews, Great Auks or Moas, it’s hard to imagine a more cheerful thing. So hurrah.

Categories
Nature

Oare walk yesterday

An approximate list, some of the obvious things left out: teal, pintail, shelduck, mallard, heron, little egret, redshank, avocet, oystercatcher, lapwing, sedge warbler, yellowhammer, corn bunting, reed bunting, skylark, swallow, marsh harrier (1F and 1M)… um, that might be it.

Categories
Nature

candles

“Sometimes entire animals such as the stormy petrel and the candlefish of the Pacific Northwest were threaded with a wick and burned as candles.”

from here.

Categories
Nature

pheasant in the garden

There was a nice healthy-looking, shiny, brightly coloured male pheasant in the garden yesterday – which is pretty unusual in south London. What with the Ring-necked Parakeets and the Beast of Sydenham, it’s starting to seem pretty exotic around here.

Categories
Nature

gay penguins

An amusing thing.