Monday, 7 December 2009

Armchair birding again

I did a fair bit of birding over the weekend, as the rain generally held off long enough to make some long hikes possible. Not a huge amount to report - plenty of Golden Plovers and Lapwings around Wanlip Meadows, plus a scattering of Goosanders around Watermead Country Park. The males of the latter are subtly beautiful birds, and seem to lift any murky winter afternoon. I missed the Black Redstart in Bradgate Park, though if it hangs around I may well go and see it.

Last night, though, I was sitting watching the Australia vs West Indies test match from Adelaide. Now village cricket grounds can be great for birds, but international matches less so. Nevertheless, for years I've kept an eye out to see what's flitting around in the background, and occasionally, usually in matches from the subcontinent, there's something worth seeing. In Britain, it's just Starlings, Feral Pigeons, and the odd Pied Wagtail.

Adelaide's a venue that usually gets plenty of Silver Gulls on the outfield, though, and last night, it went one better. A Magpie-lark (pictured) was strutting around at backward point, narrowly escaping being dismembered when a Chris Gayle square-cut flew its way. It flew off into the crowd, and Gayle continued on his merry way.


Coastcard said...

A fine creature! Is its Latin name more lark or magpie (or neither), I wonder...

Matt Merritt said...

Neither, I think. It's actually a monarch flycatcher, related to the splendidly named drongos, but I think the European settlers just applied the magpie name because it reminded them of home.