Sunday, July 01, 2007

All hail - Baffin island!

Noticed this dot on the ClusterMap thingy. I don't know who you are... approach and be recognised, but unless I'm mistaken... Baffin Island! Fantastic. Next time I'm complaining about the weather, I'll remember that some readers have it worse. Please write in and tell us something interesting about geese and gulls.

Shamefully, have been doing more decorating than birding this weekend. Did try a seawatch this evening, starting 18:15 with visibility down to 400 m! And then by half seven when it was down to 200m I gave up. This is what I was looking at.

There were scores and scores of Atlantic Puffins going past. Normally I don't count things that breed here, cos there's little point counting them when you can't distinguish migrants from local nesters, but today, I still didn't, but this time is was for laziness and badness. You know who picked up The Master's ring at the end of Doctor Who last night, with the red nail varnish? That was me. Scores, though, all heading north.
Oh, go on then, I know you're asking. Well, I also saw 211 Northern Gannets, 9 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Arctic Terns and 1 Great Skua going n
orth. Except 2 of the terns, who were off south. That's pretty crap. but on the other hand, given by half seven I wasn't even seeing the sea and I was sat there messing with my phone, it could have been worse. This is one of the mails I got, btw. Verrrrryy in-ter-est-ing...

Randler, C 2007. Assortative mating of Carrion Corvus
corone and Hooded Crows C. cornix in the hybrid zone in

eastern Germany. Ardea 95: 143-149.

Mating patterns in hybrid zones may be important for
maintaining a stable hybrid zone. Theory suggests that
hybrid zones are stable due to assortative mating outside
the zone. To test whether assortative mating occurs in the
crow hybrid zone in eastern Germany, I studied pairs of

crows. The study area between Magdeburg and Dresden was
divided into a grid and in each grid cell I recorded paired
crows between 8 April and 12 July 2006. Carrion Corvus
corone and Hooded Crows C. cornix mated assortatively given
that the composition of observed pairs deviated
significantly from what was expected by random mating;

homotypic pairings, i.e. Carrion × Carrion or Hooded ×
Hooded Crows, were observed more and heterotypic pairings
less often than expected. These findings contradict previous
suggestions for this region but are in accordance with
studies in other parts of Europe.

In the days before I was a cryptozoologist, I was a taxonomist. We wrote a paper and everything.

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