Winters Day Birding

Spent the day birding with visiting Royal Navy birder Steve Copsey, after some heavy snow overnight and heavy snow showers in the morning things did not look promising for a good day.

    

We started off at Gypsy Cove where we had a couple of Black Chinned Siskins, Long Tailed Meadowlark and a juvenile Red Backed Hawk. We then headed for Cape Pembroke as the sun was now shining in between snow showers, on the way saw a male Red Backed Hawk feeding on a Black Throated Finch.

 

At Cape Pembroke there were lots of birds on show including several Tussacbirds, Dark Faced Ground Tyrant, Grass Wren, Falkland Thrush, Black Crowned Night Heron, Snowy Sheathbill. At sea large numbers of Antarctic Fulmars were flying past the point along with a single Sooty Shearwater and a couple of Rockhopper Penguins on the sea being harassed by Kelp Gulls.

 

On the beach on the south side we found a small flock of Rufous Chested Dotterels along with Magellanic Oystercatcher, Falkland Steamer Duck, Patagonian Crested Duck and a few more Tussacbirds.

 

At Penguin walk we saw Ruddy Headed Goose and very large flock of 300+ Black Throated Finch. Then onto Stanley Harbour where we added Blackish Oystercatcher & Two Banded Plover to the day list.

 

After some lunch we headed back to East Cove to drop off Steve to his ship stopping on the way to see if the Cinnamon Teal was still there, unfortunately there was no sign of it but still plenty to see on the pond including 77 Black Necked Swans and a flock of 20 White Tufted Grebes along with Speckled & Silver Teals, Chiloe Wigeon, Yellow Billed Pintail, Silvery Grebe & Falkland Pipit

         

      

At East Cove we found a superb dark phased male Red Backed Hawk on one of the telephone poles.

 

We saw a total of 37 species for the day.

Cinnamon Teal

Went down to East Cove this afternoon to pick up Royal Navy birder Steve Copsey, on the way back to Stanley we decided to check out a couple of the ponds on the East Cove Road.

     

On one on the unnamed ponds we could see a large number of Black Necked Swans, so we decided to have a walk around to the far side to check out numbers.

       

After about twenty minutes of walking Steve found the below male Cinnamon Teal, a bird that he had failed to see when stationed here for six months back in 2006.

        

Other birds on the pond included Speckled Teal, Chiloe Wigeon, 35 Yellow Billed Pintail, 15+ Silver Teal, 50+ Black Necked Swans & 10+ White Tufted Grebe.

        

The below pictures were taken by Steve Copsey in a severe south westerly blizzard and are dedicated to Mark “Flasher” Cutts who also failed to connect with this species when stationed here.

                                      

Peregrine Falcon

Went down to Cape Pembroke this afternoon for a couple of hours birding, not much around due to the strong South Westerly winds with heavy hale showers.

 

At the Lighthouse saw a few birds including a couple of Tussuc Birds, Long Tailed Meadow Lark, Dark Faced Ground Tyrants also offshore there were a couple of Sei Whales feeding.

 

On the way home came across the below Peregrine Falcon that had just finished eating a Slender Billed Prion.

             

The remains of a Slender Billed Prion

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Partially Albino House Sparrow

Saw the below partially albino House Sparrow this morning that had been reported to Falkland Conservation by a resident of Stanley.

                                  

 

House Sparrows first arrived in the Falkland Island onboard whaling ships from Montevideo, Uruguay in 1919.

 

They can be seen in large numbers in Stanley but also in other settlement on both East & West Falklands and some of the outer Islands.

 

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White Winged Coot at Cape Dolphin

Today I found the below young White Winged Coot at Cape Dolphin on the main pond.

              

                                

      

White Winged Coots breed in the Falklands on Saunders Island in very small numbers this could be from that population.

Many thanks to Mark Pearman for the help in the ID

A Day at Cape Dolphin

Went out to Cape Dolphin today for a days birding, saw lots of good birds including 8 Southern Caracara’s and 6 different Red Backed Hawk including a nice juvenile bird.

The Gentoo Penguin colony at the Cape is just about finished their annual moult.

       

 Saw lots of large flocks of Rufous Chested Dotterels that look as though they are getting ready to start their migration North. 

Around the edge of the pond there were small groups of Ruddy Headed & Upland Geese. On the pond there were large numbers of Speckled Teal with small numbers of Black Necked Swan & White Tufted Grebe including a family group.

                                        

 

I also found a Coot species that I will do a separate post on.