Sunday, 7 November 2010

More birds at work

More species keep turning up either on the ground or over-head at my work at Benghazi Medical Centre. The species count there is now over 30!  Two new ones last week were a bit special - one especially so.

I saw a beautiful male cattle egret walking on top of a hedge and if the brown mark on his breast is not a stain then he is heading towards breeding plumage (at this time of year?). See the photograph below.

But another species I saw is far more important because it is much rarer in Libya -please read on!

cattle egret walking on a hedge at the Benghazi Medical Centre (BMC)

The other more important bird is a common buzzard seen by me and friend over the Centre a few mornings ago.  Thanks are due to Dimiter Georgiev, another friend of mine in Bulgaria for help with the identification.  

common buzzard flying over the BMC

Birders classify the presence of birds using graded language. In order of increasing numbers we use words like- vagrant, rare/scarce, uncommon, common and  abundant.

Well to the best of my knowledge common buzzard is unrecorded in Tripolitania and has been reported just three times in the last five years (by the UN wetlands census team) in Cyreniaca.

So if a first common buzzard were seen in Tripolitania it might be called a vagrant. And in Cyreniaca I think it might currently be described as rare.

common buzzard flying over the BMC

But I suspect that we are seeing (sic) the usual under-reporting again. It may be the common buzzard is just classified as rare because so far few of us have been looking. I just wonder in a few years whether it will have been re-classified as an uncommon winter visitor rather than a rare one.

robin by a path at the BMC 

Meanwhile back on the ground at the BMC, the spotted flycatcher, warblers and common redstart seem to have finally all moved on (down south). There are plenty of new LBJs (little Brown Jobs) there. The most common are robin and stonechat.

stonechat photographed through the canteen window at BMC

Since its often nearly dark when we leave work, I have started taking my camera into the canteen at lunchtime!  The photos aren't good through the window but I am hopeful of some good birds.  The stonechat above wasn't a brilliant shot partly due to a dirty window but let's see what happens in the longer run.

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