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Birds you could watch for hours and hours...

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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 19:26   #1
Patudo
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Birds you could watch for hours and hours...

Hi all,

I wanted to ask how long most of you would typically observe an individual bird (assuming the bird lets you do so). Do you tend to observe till you have a solid ID, then move on looking for the next species? Are there particular species that are more interesting and that you could happily observe for hours?

I think virtually every instance I've seen an Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo) I have tried my best to stay on it until it disappeared. In most cases this was only a few minutes and sometimes just a few seconds, but I think I could watch this species, if the opportunity presented itself, for as long as I could hold my binoculars to my eyes. The graceful flight and that combination of agility and speed they have are most compelling.

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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 19:27   #2
Andrew Whitehouse
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Dippers and Swifts both fit the bill. Hobby is a good call too.
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 19:31   #3
Julie50
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Reed warblers for me. Especially when they are gathering food for young :)
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 20:20   #4
ClarkWGriswold
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Fulmars and Ravens here.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 20:20   #5
KC Foggin
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Hummingbirds for me
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 20:21   #6
Farnboro John
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At the moment, anything that moves!

Seriously, taking the time to watch Carrion Crows interacting in a group and trying to work out what they are saying, what their moves mean, how the pecking order works....

Woodpigeon displays to mates. What turns the trick? Why does a female flail a wing at the suitor for twenty minutes then change her mind (or not, just fly off... or fly a little way and let him start again!)

Why does a Robin bob AT ME????

Time, there's never enough time. Now if I could talk to the animals....

John
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 20:24   #7
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Turnstones! Amazingly characterful birds.
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 21:33   #8
Euan Buchan
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Eiders, Turnstones & Sanderlings I can think of at the moment
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Old Wednesday 15th April 2020, 23:06   #9
Mike C
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Sanderling
Great Grey Shrike
Swallows and Martins

Probably others but can’t think right now
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 07:10   #10
andreadawn
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Auks for me. And Fulmars.

I have always preferred to spend my time observing common birds for extended periods of time rather than being concerned with the number of species seen. I've done a bit of listing in the last few weeks but the novelty has worn off very quickly. I really want to go to a seabird colony just forty miles away and spend the whole day watching auks, kittiwakes and fulmars but it's out of bounds at the moment.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 10:19   #11
pratincol
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Spent many a happy hour sitting on the deck of a ship watching Cory's Shearwater wheeling past.
Hypnotic, relaxing and plenty of fresh sea air.
Won't be doing that again any time soon!

Last edited by pratincol : Thursday 16th April 2020 at 10:32.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 11:11   #12
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Perhaps slightly different, but I never get bored of seeing Med Gulls, even though they are sometimes more abundant than Black-headed Gulls here, whereas Little and even Cattle Egrets are more or less "meh" these days.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 11:13   #13
Sandra (Taylor)
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Red kite for me …… and close-ups of a male teal. Those feathers!!
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 11:53   #14
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Sanderlings, hummingbirds, sunbirds, treecreepers and the interactions and behaviours of all my garden birds - which reminds me, must go and fill the bird bath. :-)
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 12:11   #15
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Hobbies, Hobbies, Hobbies.

Not long now!
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 12:26   #16
Dave Ball
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Hobby for me too, and skuas.

Two uninspiring ticks, Franklin’s Gull on Teeside and the Yarmouth Great Knot, were both totally upstaged by adult Long-tailed Skuas seen the same day.

Probably most entertaining ever Hobbies were two that joined a flock of Black-headed Gulls hawking insects. The Gulls tried to mob the Hobbies, but when they flew at them squawking, the Hobbies just disdainfully flicked their wingtips and were instantly metres away.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 14:08   #17
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Chickadees and Juncos.... always a flock of them depending on the season, .... jim
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 14:17   #18
aeshna5
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Another one for Hobby as well as Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail & terns in general.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 16:05   #19
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Firecrest and Whinchat always bring a smile.

Feeding phalaropes, but I don't see them as often as I'd like.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 16:28   #20
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What a great idea for a thread and, as always, I concur muchly with what FJ said. Behaviour of common stuff is great to observe. Having lived primarily in north-east and extreme south-west UK, I still feel after almost 40 years birdwatching I haven't seen enough of Hobbies. Usually only see 1-2/year, if I'm lucky, and always disappearing after a minute or so at most. Could definitely do with getting to know them a bit more.

A White-rumped Sandpiper I came across in NE England many years ago, I remember spending a total of about 20 hours watching over the course of a fortnight; a Semi-pee on Scilly 1986 12 hours over the course of a week (those were the days I used to keep notes of dates, times, companions in the field etc so the total hours is accurately recorded). These days, less rarity orientated I find it hard to not look at every Chiffchaff in late October/early November, not for racial ID purposes just the thrill of seeing such delicate beauty. I feel guilty when putting my bins down and walking away from Goldfinches, but...you know...you have to just to get on with life sometimes...

Lots and lots of birds really, but ain't it nice to see nobody's come up with Great Black Backed Gull (or any of its cohorts) so far in the thread. In a World Gone Mad it's good to know some common sense still prevails

(NB. GBBGull cohorts does not include Med Gull or anything similar-sized. We all understand that distinction, I hope, don't we)

Last edited by Britseye : Thursday 16th April 2020 at 16:32. Reason: large white-headed gulls are ugly and I should not have given the mistaken impression I don't like the smaller ones
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 19:25   #21
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Owls especially barn owls. Murmurations of starlings are pretty cool to watch too. Watching and listening to the local male blackbirds in and around my garden at this time of year also have me spell bound.

Si.
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 19:33   #22
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I enjoy the garden Coal Tits as they carry out their 100s of visits in a day collecting seeds. When out and about nothing better than watching a pair of Buzzards soaring and the calling to each other.... bliss
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 20:48   #23
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Any Corvid, particularly the flocking species. . ..
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Old Thursday 16th April 2020, 20:54   #24
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Swifts for me. Any kind of Swift.
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Old Friday 17th April 2020, 05:14   #25
Scridifer
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I always feel very privileged when I get to watch any 'skulkers', so generally will stay watching until they disappear. Recently I've been lucky enough to observe Jack Snipe and Little Crake undisturbed, a real joy!

Chris
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