I readily admit to being spoilt with the quality of some of my migrant visitors over the last few days! At sunrise a few days ago I noticed a small bird foraging in a 'dunnock' type manner on the main deck. With the rapidly improving light I got my bins. on it and knew it was something quite special! I grabbed a couple of shots and then realised I was looking at a Black-throated accentor! It foraged for a short time then flew over the side of the ship and was gone! A short time later a gorgeous bluethroat landed on a packing crate, flicked its' wings and tail, then dropped over the side and was on it's way south- no photograph that time.
Yesterday I had a couple of yellow-browed warblers that were particularly showy and seemed to enjoy posing for the camera- if only it was this easy on my local patch! Interestingly one of these birds had a fairly noticeable median crown stripe- just shows that they all need careful checking- especially in strong sunlight and way up in a canopy!
There has been a good supporting cast of goldcrests too, with two birds providing some drama yesterday. During a sparrowhawk sortie the two birds panicked and flew into the wheelhouse- the officer on watch called me to assist. I managed to trap them individually in corners and gently took them back down to the deck to be released. I continued with my watch and 30 minutes later the two goldcrests flew towards me. One landed on my arm and the other on my coat pocket- amazingly they looked at me for 5 seconds or so, as if they were saying 'thanks'- they then flew off and continued feeding amongst the packing crates. They remained very approachable for the rest of the day and I could hear their contact calls for a number of hours as I walked the decks.
|goldcrest- showing off!|
Later a real stunner showed up and again flew into the sanctuary of the bridge- a Pallas's warbler! I have seen a few of these on vessel's during autumnal migrations including a bird off Norway about 5 years ago. Until a couple of weeks ago I had not seen one in Britain, but did get a fleeting glimpse of a self-found bird at St. Abbs during my recent twitch there. Anyway, this bird was very flighty and impossible to catch, so to avoid stressing it out I left it in peace. 30 minutes later it was near exhausted and slowly overheating on a window ledge. It too was then gently taken to the aft deck to join the goldcrests. Funnily enough after a brief period of recuperation in a shaded spot it flew to a blue tarpaulin and just seemed to glare at me as I took it's portrait! Such a lovely species and definitely one of my all time favourite birds! Just wish I could find them on a 'local patch'
|Pallas's warbler- simply gorgeous!|
|pallas's warbler- apparently not too impressed with my rescue attempt!|