Tuesday, 8 February 2011

How one vagrant came to Libya

Have you ever wondered how  or why vagrant birds end up in the wrong place? I was searching the internet a couple of nights ago when I got some clues about how some vagrants arrive in Libya.

There is a blog (http://delsonclicks3.blogspot.com) by Delson Roche who was a chief officer in the merchant navy (he may be a captain now). In his blog he has taken some beautiful pictures of birds which have hitched a lift on his ship.

He writes that some of the birds hitched a lift to or from Libya. One of these birds at least shouldn't have come to Libya. It's well away from its normal place.

Finsch's wheatear on board near a Libyan port by Delson Roche

Delson reports a wheatear which he noticed on board his ship in Libyan waters and he photographed just before he entered a Libyan port. He identifies it as a pied wheatear but I am sure his ID is not right and the bird is actually a Finsch's wheatear (though neither normally occur in Libya).

Finsch's wheatear flies over the eastern Mediterranean on migration and it looks like this bird got taken well west of its normal destination when resting on the ship.

skylark on board near Libya by Delson Roche

Another bird he writes hitched a lift in Libyan waters was the skylark above. His photography is excellent.

black redstart by Delson Roche

I have suspected that many black redstart migrate from Italy to Libya and back in winter. The one above landed as his ship had left Libya for Italy.

resting bee-eater on board in eastern Mediterranean by Delson Roche

Finally I wanted to show you one of his best pictures which shows five bee-eater resting on board in a line. He doesn't say where this picture was taken but it is a wonderful capture. 

Maybe I should visit Benghazi port and check the new arrivals.

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