Jeff Clarke Ecology

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Updates and photos from around the world on my travels both through pleasure and work

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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 1) - Sydney {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/pofpsydney]}This is the first in a series of blogs detailing a month long tour of New Zealand and Australia in the company of my lovely and long-suffering Wife Adele, who as it happens took some of the best images we achieved during our explorations. For this blog I have used images that missed the cull for my new talk on New Zealand but are still decent images. We began in Sydney, arriving during an evening thunderstorm and exited out taxi to the strains of Coldplay blasting out Viva la Vida in the stadium close to our Hotel at Rushcutters Bay. Despite the 11 hour time difference I was up at dawn the following morning exploring the adjacent park. The raucous, thro...
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Return of the Bohemians {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/garrulus]}Just under two years ago I was merrily clicking away with my camera at Bohemian Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus, those exotic wanderers from the north, as they scoffed rowan berries between a couple of car showrooms in the heart of Warrington. Little did I expect a reprise of this event so soon afterwards. This species is noted for it's periodic irruptions into the UK following a failure of the rowan berry crop in southern Scandinavia but this is something that normally only happens once or twice a decade. However these irruptions are becoming more frequent and the numbers of birds involved dwarfs those in most previous decades. Despite being a spectacularly good looking c...
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1 Hour Watch {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/HH301012]}Today's mini-migration watch was more about quality rather than quantity. I arrived late at Hale Head, a good hour and 10 mins after sunrise, where I joined fellow migration watcher Rob Cockbain and Paul Long. Just for a change I had my camera with me and I didn't even get a chance to set it up properly before a party of Raven passed very close by. In less than an hour we had enjoyed a good range of migrants (see the results on Trektellen) but surprisingly I'd managed decent record shots of a variety of birds and at least one decent shot of a kestrel. Some days there is an advantage to staying in one place and letting the birds come to you.
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1 Hour Watch {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/HH301012]}Today's mini-migration watch was more about quality rather than quantity. I arrived late at Hale Head, a good hour and 10 mins after sunrise, where I joined fellow migration watcher Rob Cockbain and Paul Long. Just for a change I had my camera with me and I didn't even get a chance to set it up properly before a party of Raven passed very close by. In less than an hour we had enjoyed a good range of migrants (see the results on Trektellen) but surprisingly I'd managed decent record shots of a variety of birds and at least one decent shot of a kestrel. Some days there is an advantage to staying in one place and letting the birds come to you.
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Mistle Rush {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/mistlemigrant]}In the past couple of weeks I've taken several opportunities to enjoy a few hours 'vis migging' at my favourite local migration hotspot of Hale Head, not very far from Liverpool Airport. As usual the migrant totals are being dominated by Wood Pigeons and currently the winter thrushes are piling through. A feature of this autumn has been the steady passage of the forgotten throstle in the shape of the garrulous Mistle Thrush. Each year small numbers pass through Hale Head, but this year there seemed to be a significantly more than usual. You can often be mislead by 'gut feelings' so I did a little research and low and behold at least 40% of UK migration watch sites on Trektelle...
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