28
Nov
12

Look and (maybe) you shall find

One thing I have always tried to do to when looking for wildlife is keep an open mind. I wish I had a pound for every time I have been told. “No, they don’t occur here!” Or “Naa I wouldn’t bother looking there”

I recently did a ferry crossing over the mouth of the St Lawrence in Canada. After an hour in a freshening northerly wind I saw something that looked like an auk cross the bow but it was shearing; fluttering and then gliding. The only small shearwaters that get seen in that area are apparently Manx and the odd Audubon’s. It was a Barolo Shearwater which should have been more at home in European waters. Who can blame the Canadian birders we met from giving me the inquisition. I found out subsequently several Barolos were seen around that time in Canadian Waters.

I went to Iceland in February to photograph Orcas. As we travelled out through the fjord we sailed through a flock of Red throated Divers. I saw a Black throated Diver among them. As they all got off the water the Black throated flew over the boat – I checked it thoroughly looking for the vent strap of a Pacific Diver – it seemed like the logical thing to do – but alas it was only a Black throated. Two days later, on return to the UK, I sent off my records to the Icelandic Bird Recorder only to have an email ping back at me to say it was a first for Iceland – I hadn’t appreciated Black throated Diver’s status in Iceland (I do now) – he shot up the island to try and relocate it!

What I’m trying to say in my naive way is it’s easy to make presumptions … but until you get out and look you never know what you might find.

I’ve just finished planting a shed load of berried trees and bushes here at Falcon Cottage in an attempt to bring in a Waxwing to the garden in a future winter. When you’re not out looking it pays to have things looking for you!

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2 Responses to “Look and (maybe) you shall find”


  1. November 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Great catch–hope that it enjoys the berry.


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