vrijdag 26 februari 2010

Quality birdwatching from my attic

With the cranes of yesterday still roaming in my head I woke up around eight o' clock. I walked towards my window and opened the curtains: hmm the weather seemed quite pleasant. Then I noticed lots of geese passing by, distant as well as close. My bins were still lying in my room so I grabbed them. Suddenly I saw a group of large birds flying past. I watched them with my binoculars: 12 Bewick's swans! Great, another new houselist species! I identified them as Bewick's swan because of the following features: small swans, short neck (opposite of Whooper swans) and their fast wing-beats. They were flying in a north-easterly direction. This was a nice wake-up call! I decided to take my breakfast upstairs and to check all the birds passing by. There was lots of migration of geese, especially Greylags and White-fronted geese. Furthermore I had 3 Hawfinches, 1 Mistle Thrush (new houselist species aswell!). The highlight of 1.5 hours migration counting was a Red Kite! I discovered this raptor while watching some incoming geese from the west. The bird was distant but I could see its distinguishing characteristics, the forked tail, the bent wings plus the typical kite flight: a slow and rolling way of flying. It was being mobbed by a Sparrowhawk. This was around 8.45. Half an our later this bird was presumbly seen on the Braamberg by Maarten Kaales (www.birdalerts.nl).
Around 9.30 I saw a possible crane, but it was too far away and flew too high to be a 100 percent sure. It was a large, grey bird but yeh... This bird was first trying to find thermal and after this it left in a easterly direction. It's a pity that I could not fully ID this bird.

Above you can see the view from my attic

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