Wednesday 3 November 2010

Birding & Politics

Who'd have thought that the US election today would have an impact on birding in Germany?

Well, apparently a female-type Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) thought so as it decided to show itself to me for the typical 2-or-so seconds just before darkness fell on the land south of Heidelberg.

The Red-flanked Bluetail - which is actually now called "Orange-flanked Bush Robin", but the name hasn't found much acceptance amongst birders, and gee I wonder why - is an extreme rarity in Germany which doesn't even occur annually, yet this year has seen an unprecedented influx of this largely Siberian species to Europe with probably a handful of reports from Germany and a staggering 30-something observations in the UK.
Ironically, it is my second observation of the species in Germany, although the first one was twitched and not self-found, which is always much nicer.

I'll try to relocate it tomorrow morning and take some pictures, which would help as it might be the first-ever for the Southwest of Germany and maybe only the second bird ever away from the coast.
If I manage anything, I'll make sure to let you know.

By the way, I saw more blue than red, so maybe the US election wasn't the driving factor behind the bird's appearance. Who knows - the way migrants surprise us, ey?

In the meantime, here is a very beautiful gallery of the species.

1 comment:

John B. said...

"Orange-flanked Bush Robin" is an unfortunate name.