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North Sea Thread (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
How green is my Pipit?

Wind swung round this morning to become an East wind. More of a breeze than a wind at only eight knots, but it turned the migrants back on. By lunchtime I was spotting the odd small bird flitting across the decks. Only managed to get a good sight of one though, and that was a juvenile Pied Wagtail.

Later in the day, one of my colleagues brought me a plastic tub with a retrieved bird inside. He'd found it exhaused on a walkway. Peeping into the tub, I could see a very green olive bird, that at first I thought was some kind of warbler, but then I spotted the streaky white/cream chest and flanks. It has taken a while to convince myself, but apparently pipits can be that strikingly green.

Anyway, I took a few photos, then took the bird to a quiet (Gull free) area of the platform and released it. It fluttered off, but then settled on a scaffold where it stuck its head under its wing and I assume went off to sleep. I don't rate its chances, but bird falls on platforms due to migration exhaustion is a sad reality. I'm always tempted to try and intervene (keep the bird and feed it), but I've been advised that this is the wrong thing to do, so generally I just let nature take its course. You never know though, my Pipit may rest up and head off.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Any pictures of the pipit? An olive green pipit could certainly be something very interesting!

Yes, I've got photos. I can't attach them on here from work, but I've sent them into the North Sea Bird Club, so they should appear on their website after Wednesday. I'll post a link here when they appear.
 

Gander

Well-known member
I've checked the area where I left the Pipit to recover and it has departed. Hopefully a happy ending.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Confused Curlew?

Curlew seen flying past the platform yesterday, but heading East. Confused or what???
 

Gander

Well-known member
Last day.

Not much to report over the last few days. I could see the odd small bird flashing past the platform, but nothing stopping off. Might have something to do with the build up of Great Black-Backed Gulls that exceeded 600 birds at one point.

Today was different however! Morning was bright and apart from about 200 GBBGs, I only spotted a lone Wagtail flying by. That's my third this week. Then, while counting gulls, a Minke Whale surfaced - always a thrill.

Lunch time brought thick fog and I noticed a small bird heading for the top of the accommodation module. Following it up there, I positioned myself at a point over-looking the accom roof; an area with a maze of ducting and pipework. Immediately, birds started to appear. In fact they were dropping down onto the roof out of the fog.

A beautifully marked Meadow Pipit hopped towards me through the gaps in the steelwork, scaffolding and ducting. I stood there a still as possible as it passed within two inches of my left foot before casually hopping off. Now several birds were dancing about on the roof. They would flutter up a few feet, twisting and turning, before dropping back onto the roof. At least one of the birds appeared to be a Willow Warbler. Another, the boldest, looked to have the dark legs of a Chiffchaff. After twenty minutes of this, I headed off for a camera. Back in fifteen minutes, at least two of the birds were still appearing. The Chiffchaff came closer and closer. I was looking over the top of a metal cabinet as it approached, still performing its dance. Then it landed a couple of feet to my right, a winged insect clamped in its beak. It looked me up and down before hopping away. Now I knew. These birds were feeding. My Chiffchaff flew close over my head, then it came back, its wing tips touching my head as it passed by. Plenty of photos taken, I left them too it.

Why were these birds coming so close to me. I think that because they were in such an unnatural environment, that I did not stand out as I would in their natural environment. By not moving, I just became one of many strange unrecognised objects. Or it may be that the platform rumour that I'm a Bird Whisperer is true.:t:

Once I work out how to do it, I'll post some of the pictures on here. I'm pretty sure it was a Chiffchaff, but it did have more yellow on its breast and more orange in its beak than I would expect
 
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Gander

Well-known member
Chiffchaff photo

As promised.

Am I correct in Chiffchaff?
 

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Gander

Well-known member
Received e-mail from the North Sea Bird Club recorder, and he has gone for the bird being a Chiffchaff. I'll put the picture up on the Bird ID forum to get a wider consensus of opinion.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Received e-mail from the North Sea Bird Club recorder, and he has gone for the bird being a Chiffchaff. I'll put the picture up on the Bird ID forum to get a wider consensus of opinion.

I'll confess to being a bit concerned that the recorder thinks it's a Chiffchaff. It's very definitely not one.
 

Mark Etheridge

Bird Shooter (With A Camera)
Why were these birds coming so close to me. I think that because they were in such an unnatural environment, that I did not stand out as I would in their natural environment.

I experienced that too while offshore - my theory was that many of these birds will have been raised in remote Scandinavian forests, and have probably never encountered a human before!
 

Gander

Well-known member
I experienced that too while offshore - my theory was that many of these birds will have been raised in remote Scandinavian forests, and have probably never encountered a human before!

That thought had crossed my mind. Amazing experience though.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Another photo

Same bird.

I've sent an e-mail back to the NSBC asking them to take another look, with Icterine in mind.
 

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Pete58

Well-known member
An Icterine would have made my trip out here in the Norwegian sector. A rather quiet trip offshore with Pied fly, Sparrowhawk and Ruff been the best. Although during drilling I get very little time to look. Keeping an eye out for a certain species of Owl as there have been more sightings around Stavanger in the last few days.
I'm glad to see you have started this thread as I have been wanting to do this for several years but have been too lazy. Hope you don't mind if I post things up here. Last day today and ready for a break, 10 days at home since April so looking forward to some easterly winds and a few migs around NE Scotland.
 

Gander

Well-known member
An Icterine would have made my trip out here in the Norwegian sector. A rather quiet trip offshore with Pied fly, Sparrowhawk and Ruff been the best. Although during drilling I get very little time to look. Keeping an eye out for a certain species of Owl as there have been more sightings around Stavanger in the last few days.
I'm glad to see you have started this thread as I have been wanting to do this for several years but have been too lazy. Hope you don't mind if I post things up here. Last day today and ready for a break, 10 days at home since April so looking forward to some easterly winds and a few migs around NE Scotland.

Hi Pete,
I'll be delighted if you post on the thread. It helps give a bigger picture. Have a good leave.
 

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