Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lest we forget, part whatever

Here's a treat. 16th May 1993. For reasons that I won't divulge just yet, 3 of us are at St Abb's Head (Scotland). Casually lift my bins to check out a couple of terns flying over Mire Loch. King Ell! Put this in your pipe and smoke it!

That was the first of two times when I've got my name in the BB rarities report without submitting a description. Actually, I'm a bit uneasy about it now.... 1993 was a more innocent age - Elsie (the long-staying Lesser Crested Tern on the Farne Islands) was still living a few miles to the south, and it was fair to assume that any yellow-billed sarnie was her. These days, orange*-billed tern identification has gone totally nuts.

*by 'orange', I include yellow, yellow-orange, orange-yellow, orange, orange-red, orange-and-yellow, and dirty yellow.

With Elegant, Cayenne, aberrant Sandwich, and all the hybrids thrown into the mix, I guess it's inevitable that one day they'll all be reviewed, and I suspect our 'fly-by' will be lucky to survive the cut. It was Elsie though, I recognised her moult cycle, or something.

And more shame, more confession.... why were we in the area??? remember how I said twitching a Common Rosefinch was shameful? Well cop a load of this.

Good eh? At the time it didn't even feel like an insurance tick, but what's this?
Ryabitsev & Wilson, 1999. Range extension of Long-tailed Rosefinch into the Western Palearctic. Brit. Birds 92: 498-503.
Ker-ching! They breed in the WP and are on a flight line for spring-overshooting to NW Europe. Someone should tell BOURC. Hey, wait a minute! I'm 'aving that.
Just goes to show, if you really want to know what's going on, read British Birds.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Well, I'd accept that as a Lesser Crested Tern even now, but with the following provisos:

1) I'm not on a records committee

2) I've never seen the species anywhere

3) see no.1

Grey rump etc is good, should survive a review?
As for the rosefinch: shame! ;)