Sunday 6th November – Sterte and Baiter, Poole.   Leave a comment

Margaret had a choir practice this afternoon, so we had a short trip out this morning combining a little birding with a visit to a car boot sale.

We quickly located the two Black Redstarts that have been seen at Sterte, just off the Holes Bay Road. However the cold wind kept them under cover and I didn’t get any photos. Black Redstarts breed in the UK in small numbers but are more often seen as late autumn migrants or winter visitors.

Also seen was a flock of 100+ Woodpigons heading north, an indication that their late autumn migration is underway.

Black Redstart. Photo from the internet.

Later we headed to Baiter Park in the hope that there would be some Mediterranean Gulls to photograph, no luck there but there were two Pale-bellied with about  50 Dark-bellied Brents.

Brent Geese have a circumpolar arctic breeding range. Recently many consider Pale-bellied Brent, breeding in arctic Canada and wintering on the eastern seaboard of America and Ireland, as a different species from Dark-bellied Brent, which breeds in western arctic Siberia and winters in western Europe and southern England. A third form, Black Brant, breeding in eastern Siberia and wintering in east Asia and western America is also considered a full species by some and also occurs in the UK in small numbers each winter.

Unfortunately the overall situation is far from clear. There are two discrete populations (high arctic and low arctic) of Pale-bellied Brent and an as yet undescribed, yet unique, population on a single island in arctic Canada, known as ‘Grey-bellied Brent’. Until the taxonomic status of all five forms is established I doubt if the BOU will act on this group.

Two Pale-bellied Brents (back) with three Dark-bellied Brents.
Typically, Herring Gull obtain a streaked head in winter.
These Starling were using a car as a wind break whilst they were preening.

Posted November 6, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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