September’s Short-toed Treecreeper notes.

 

N.B this bird has been accepted by the BBRC in 2020 and is the 30th record for this species in Britain.

I managed to get round to organising my notes on the Short-toed Treecreeper I came across at Langdon hole in september and thought I would share them here.  I wanted the description to be ‘water tight’ as its only field notes, a written description and photos compared to a bird in the hand and audio recordings of the voice. Although I have found each plumage feature to fit well with Short-toed and I believe my description of the voice to be a decent phonetic representation. Below is an excerpt from the description of the voice followed by annotated images ;

“I had been hoping/expecting to hear the Coal tit-like call to confirm my analysis of Short-toed treecreeper from plumage features. A couple of minutes later and I saw the Treecreeper fly back to the eastern end of the fence and begin working its way down towards me again, I knew I needed better photos and was sitting in the grass waiting for it to emerge when – “duii…duei…tduiit” – it called loudly from right in front to me, three Coal tit-like notes with the last sounding fractionally longer. An adrenaline moment! These same notes were heard again moments before the bird flew off down the cliff face towards more suitable cover and not seen again.”

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I also think that the site and structure on which I found the bird should be mentioned; a rusty metal fence right on the cliff face above the port of Dover, not exactly an excellent place to be a treecreeper for any length of time and suggestive that the bird was fairly freshly arrived, feeds into the find and perhaps the ID nicely.

Sttc site

site 2

Back in the Zone with a lovely Casp

Today went to plan; I just wanted to see a nice Caspian Gull in the grey gloom of the Thames estuary after all those colourful Floridian birds in baking hot sunshine. Well we had some sun today but the Thames was grey brown as usual and a very elegant first winter Caspian Gull entertained Myself, Dante and Rich for a while at Erith.

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It seems to be a Bird Dante had at Rainham last week so hopefully will stick around.

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There were more waders on the exposed mud at Erith than ive ever seen: Perhaps 100+ Dunlin, c75 Black Tailed Godwits and many Redshank.

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Dante and I went to check if the Penduline Tit was still at Crossness and after a while waiting was heard to call and in fact came into pishing close to the Hide/screen. Nice light and great to watch, in fact my closest views of this species in the uk.

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Miami Dec ’19

Back to Miami for work at what I now think is the perfect time to get out of the uk for 2 weeks. Similar birds and in some cases the exact same individuals but a few differences and more of one thing, less of another for example I saw no swallows last year but this year I saw a flock of 200 Northern Rough-winged and perhaps 150 Tree Swallows. Its such a great place to watch incredible birds all before work in the morning or on the occasional half days off from hard graft.

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Unsurprisingly my focus was on Warblers and again it was relatively easy to see the common wintering species in the parks and green spaces. I beat my total of 15 last year with 16 species this year.

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Black-and-white warbler

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Northern Parulas

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American Redstarts

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Fem Black-throated Blue

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Ovenbird

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Prairie Warblers

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Yellow-Throated Warblers

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Myrtle Warbler

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Pine Warblers

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Common Yellowthroat

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Orange-crowned Warblers

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Nashville Warbler

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 (Western) Palm Warbler

Cape may, Magnolia, Black throated Green were also seen a few times but no photography thereof.

I enjoyed the following Hermit Thrush for about 20 minutes, the only one ive seen in Miami, Its crazy to think at that moment there was Graham’s bird on st Marys making the same movements, lovely bird.

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The below Summer Tanager was a tick for me, I saw it in the spot where I found a Western Tanager last year – a Florida Rarity.

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I recognized a buzzy little call from spring in Ontario – Indigo buntings, a small flock not exactly in their finery but still nice (below)

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An Inqusitive White-eyed Vireo came in to some pishing.

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The only sparrow Ive seen in Miami itself, a Chipping Sparrow was present in my ‘warbler spot’ one morning

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Broad-winged (Below), Red-tailed, Short-tailed and Red-shouldered (following pic) Hawks were seen as well as Coopers and Sharp shinned.

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Osprey

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TV’s

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(Above) The same Yellow-crowned Night heron that I saw every day last year on my walks into work, along with an Eastern Phoebe along the same fence line as last year and a Ringed Royal Tern. Its mad to think these are the same individuals, especially the phoebe which will no doubt migrate north for the summer and return next winter to the same spot, abit like me!

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Tricolored Heron

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Some nice 1st winter Ring-billed Gulls for good measure.

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The waders are special, mostly very tame and in good numbers.

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Short-billed Dowitchers

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Semi-palmated plover (showing off its 2 best close up id features in this pic: the white in the throat coming above the gape line aswell as the palmations, just about)

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Least Sandpipers

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Willet

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Piping Plover

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Spotted Sandpipers

Again I didnt make it to the everglades but lazily wandering around bumping into warbler flocks is exactly what I had the energy for this trip.