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Updated on Friday, November 30 at 01:32 PM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird,©Julie Zickefoose

30 Nov The Friday Review [Lee G R Evans ]
29 Nov Re: Irish Bird Report/Irish Birds 1970-2000 [Martin Ryan ]
29 Nov Re: Irish Bird Report/Irish Birds 1970-2000 [Michael O'Clery ]
29 Nov Irish Bird Report/Irish Birds 1970-2000 [Martin Ryan ]
28 Nov Hen Harrier Roost Site Confidentiality [Dermot Breen ]
28 Nov Humpbacks off west cork [Peter Wolstenholme ]
27 Nov Re: Waxwings feeding at night under street lights [Mícheál Casey ]
27 Nov Re: Waxwings feeding at night under street lights [Lee G R Evans ]
27 Nov Waxwings feeding at night under street lights [Mícheál Casey ]
26 Nov South Uist takes landfall of two Nearctic stragglers [Lee G R Evans ]
25 Nov Re: Dunlins Roosting [Andrew Kelly ]
25 Nov Re: Surfbirds? [Hugh Delaney ]
25 Nov Surfbirds? [Eamonn O'Donnell ]
24 Nov Dunlins Roosting [Peter Wolstenholme ]
23 Nov The Friday Review [Lee G R Evans ]
22 Nov Re: Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa [Jez Simms ]
21 Nov Re: Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa [Graham Clarke ]
21 Nov Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa [Peter Wolstenholme ]
19 Nov Re: PHYLOGENY OF BIRDS [dermot omahony ]
17 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Graham Clarke ]
16 Nov Not a lot new turning up - the Friday roundup [Lee G R Evans ]
16 Nov PHYLOGENY OF BIRDS [Alan Horan ]
15 Nov Re: Irish invasion of SW Britain [Francois Mullan ]
15 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
15 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
15 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Eamonn O'Donnell ]
15 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Dermot McCabe ]
15 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
15 Nov Re: Irish invasion of SW Britain ["Collinson, Dr Jon M." ]
15 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [richard mundy ]
15 Nov Re: Being nice [Séamus Feeney ]
15 Nov Irish invasion of SW Britain [Lee G R Evans ]
14 Nov Re: Being nice [Colin Conroy ]
14 Nov Re: Fwd: Lesser Scaup [Eamonn O'Donnell ]
14 Nov Re: Fwd: Lesser Scaup [Eamonn O'Donnell ]
14 Nov Re: Fwd: Lesser Scaup [Owen Foley ]
14 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Lee G R Evans ]
14 Nov Fwd: Lesser Scaup [Paul Archer ]
14 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Owen Foley ]
14 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Peter Wolstenholme ]
14 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Colin Conroy ]
14 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Mark Carmody ]
14 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Killian Mullarney ]
14 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Mícheál Casey ]
13 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Peter Phillips ]
13 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
13 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Mike O'Keeffe ]
13 Nov Re: Being nice [Phil Davis ]
13 Nov Re: Being nice [Eamonn O'Donnell ]
13 Nov Being nice [Colin Conroy ]
13 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Owen Foley ]
13 Nov Re: Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
13 Nov Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
12 Nov ''LESSER SCAUP'' on Fair Isle in October 2011 [Lee G R Evans ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Eamonn O'Donnell ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Lee G R Evans ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Owen Foley ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Mike O'Keeffe ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Lee G R Evans ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Owen Foley ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Lee G R Evans ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
12 Nov Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Lee G R Evans ]
12 Nov Rostellan Lesser Scaup [Phil Davis ]
12 Nov Re: Picture links in tweets not working [Owen Foley ]
9 Nov Re: Colour ringed Redpoll [Michael Noonan ]
9 Nov PINE GROZZERS getting closer [Lee G R Evans ]
7 Nov Movember [Mark Carmody ]
7 Nov Shocking and disgraceful killing of AMUR FALCONS in India [Lee G R Evans ]
7 Nov Re: Colour ringed Redpoll [Mícheál Casey ]
7 Nov Re: Colour ringed Redpoll [Peter Phillips ]
6 Nov Re: Colour ringed Redpoll [Mícheál Casey ]
6 Nov Colour ringed Redpoll [Michael Noonan ]
6 Nov Re: Picture links in tweets not working [Killian Mullarney ]
6 Nov Re: Picture links in tweets not working [Birds ]

Subject: The Friday Review
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 13:21:17 -0500
With temperatures plunging over much of this past week, scores of BOHEMIAN  
WAXWINGS have been moving south, with large numbers reaching the South 
Coast and  infiltrating the Midlands and central Wales.
 
As far as vagrants are concerned, Conwy's female DESERT WHEATEAR remains  
the highlight, still showing well on the north side of Rhyl Golf Course 
today, with 1 of 2 LITTLE BUNTINGS in with 60 or so Reed Buntings at Rosenannon 

Downs  (Cornwall) and a newly-discovered DUSKY WARBLER along the coastal 
track west of  the West Bexington (Dorset) car park, midway between the nature 
reserve entrance  and the Mere. A further DUSKY WARBLER, initially seen on 
Monday, was again seen  and heard at Swanvale NR today, at the north end of 
Swanpool, Falmouth  (Cornwall).
 
A LESSER YELLOWLEGS was still to be found at Alkborough Flats (North Lincs) 
 this morning, with the other wintering birds remaining at Aldcliffe Marsh  
(Lancs) and in Ernesettle Creek, Plymouth (South Devon). Meanwhile, the  
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was again on the Tack Piece at Slimbridge WWT  (Gloucs)
 
The adult drake Blue-winged Teal of likely captive origin was again at Lamb 
 Island, on the River Dee, near Threave (Dumfries & Galloway) in recent 
days,  the same bird that spent the summer in Clyde and Kinross.
 
A first-year Glossy Ibis was present for at least its 4th day at Ham Wall  
RSPB (Somerset).
 
Long-tailed Ducks include the juveniles at Rutland Water (Leics) and on  
Lade GP (Kent) and Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks), the female at Pugney's  
Country Park (South Yorks) and the drake at William Girling Reservoir (London). 

 
The first-winter Red-necked Grebe remains on Queen Mother Reservoir  
(Berks), with Slavonian Grebes at Rutland Water (Leics), Carsington Water  
(Derbyshire), Scotney GP (East Sussex) and Priory Country Park, Bedford (Beds). 
A 

juvenile Black-throated Diver was new in at Dungeness New Diggings  (Kent) 
whilst Great Northern Divers continue at Chasewater (Staffs), Shustoke  
Reservoir (Warks) and Horrock's Flash, Wigan (Gtr Manchester).
 
Portland Harbour (Dorset) was very productive today with a Black Guillemot  
seen, 10 Great Northern Divers, 14 Black-necked Grebes and a Red-necked 
Grebe,  whilst Shell Bay near Sandbanks, Poole, yielded an astonishing 52 
wintering  Black-necked Grebes.
 
In IRELAND, the AMERICAN COOT remains for a fourth day at Murloch, just  
south of Ballyconneely (County Galway), with the juvenile drake SURF SCOTER of
f  Dungarvan (County Waterford) and BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Ballylongford.
 
Additionally, a very late BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was seen today at Black Rock  
Strand (County Kerry).
 
   
Premier  Bird News direct to your computer and phone now available on 
subscription for  just £12* per year (* limited offer only) - email 
_LGREUK400 AT aol.com_ (mailto:LGREUK400 AT aol.com)  for details

Lee G R  Evans, Ornithological Consultant, British Birding 
Association/UK400  Club
Professional Guiding from just £63/70 Euros

per  day
2013 Tour Itinerary shortly to be announced but vacancies still on  Round 
Britain Tours from 19-27 January and 17-26  May - email Lee at 
LGREUK400 AT aol.com

*NEW FOR  2013 - October Birdathon Fortnights - getting the most out of the 
 rarity jamboree
Subject: Re: Irish Bird Report/Irish Birds 1970-2000
From: Martin Ryan <martinpatrickryan AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 20:01:43 +0000
Thanks Michael. Will contact him.

Martin Ryan

On 29 Nov 2012, at 19:41, Michael O'Clery  wrote:

> Hi Martin
> Davey Farrar expressed interest, though he isn't subscribed to IBN, so 
perhaps you could contact him via email, daveyfarrar3 AT hotmail.com 

> Thanks, Michael
> -
> On 29 Nov 2012, at 12:38, Martin Ryan wrote:
> 
>> Hi Folks
>> 
>> I normally lurk on this forum but am emerging from the gloom in a desperate
>> attempt to clear space on my bookshelves!
>> 
>> I have a complete set of *Irish Birds* 1977-2000 and all bar two of the 
*Irish 

>> Bird Report* 1970-76. If anyone is interested in acquiring some or all of
>> then from me - drop me a line.
>> 
>> Best wishes
>> 
>> Martin Ryan
> 
> ------------------------------------
> See my paintings on www.michaeloclery.blogspot.com
> ------------------------------------
> and my Kerry Birding website www.kerrybirding.blogspot.com
> ------------------------------------
> and my Kerry/Cork Raptor Survey website
> www.duhallow.blogspot.com
> ------------------------------------
Subject: Re: Irish Bird Report/Irish Birds 1970-2000
From: Michael O'Clery <michaeloclery AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 19:41:30 +0000
Hi Martin
Davey Farrar expressed interest, though he isn't subscribed to IBN, so perhaps 
you could contact him via email, daveyfarrar3 AT hotmail.com 

 Thanks, Michael
-
On 29 Nov 2012, at 12:38, Martin Ryan wrote:

> Hi Folks
> 
> I normally lurk on this forum but am emerging from the gloom in a desperate
> attempt to clear space on my bookshelves!
> 
> I have a complete set of *Irish Birds* 1977-2000 and all bar two of the 
*Irish 

> Bird Report* 1970-76. If anyone is interested in acquiring some or all of
> then from me - drop me a line.
> 
> Best wishes
> 
> Martin Ryan

------------------------------------
See my paintings on www.michaeloclery.blogspot.com
------------------------------------
and my Kerry Birding website www.kerrybirding.blogspot.com
------------------------------------
and my Kerry/Cork Raptor Survey website
www.duhallow.blogspot.com
------------------------------------
Subject: Irish Bird Report/Irish Birds 1970-2000
From: Martin Ryan <martinpatrickryan AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 12:38:21 +0000
Hi Folks

I normally lurk on this forum but am emerging from the gloom in a desperate
attempt to clear space on my bookshelves!

I have a complete set of *Irish Birds* 1977-2000 and all bar two of the *Irish
Bird Report* 1970-76. If anyone is interested in acquiring some or all of
then from me - drop me a line.

Best wishes

Martin Ryan
Subject: Hen Harrier Roost Site Confidentiality
From: Dermot Breen <breen.dermot AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:50:32 +0000
I'm forwarding this on on behalf of Barry O'Donoghue who runs the Hen
Harrier Roost Watch Survey.
A reminder to the few idiots who still see no harm in broadcasting this
sort of extremely sensitive news to the wider public - "don't tell anyone".

Dermot

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: harriers 
Date: 28 November 2012 18:28
Subject: Roost Site Confidentiality
To:


 Good evening,

This evening I was informed of a Hen Harrier shot at a winter roost. While
it may or may not be related, as at the outset of every year and for every
person that joins the survey, I urge you not to disclose roost locations to
anyone, no matter how well meaning they are, because one person tells
another and so on. In an ideal world all the public would all be able to go
and watch a harrier roost (providing the watching itself did not disturb
the birds) but when roost sites are occupied by the birds and the birds
alone for 99% of evenings, there is always the chance of persecution
incidents if a place becomes known as a harrier roost.

*Please always bear in mind the need for utmost confidentiality with regard
to the resting place of a threatened Annex I species...*this goes for
publishing details on websites also. If you are inclined to do so, please
keep it general (e.g. the nearest town).

Enjoy your roost watches this week/weekend,
Barry




 **********************************************************************
Is faoi rún agus chun úsáide an té nó an aonán atá luaite leis, a sheoltar
an ríomhphost seo agus aon comhad atá nasctha leis. Má bhfuair tú an
ríomhphost seo trí earráid, déan teagmháil le bhainisteoir an chórais.

Deimhnítear leis an bhfo-nóta seo freisin go bhfuil an teachtaireacht
ríomhphoist seo scuabtha le bogearraí frithvíorais chun víorais ríomhaire a
aimsiú.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
anti-virus software for the presence of computer viruses.
**********************************************************************
Subject: Humpbacks off west cork
From: Peter Wolstenholme <pwolstenholme AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 17:42:53 +0000
There will be a piece on the 6 and 9 pm news tonight
On the humpbacks off west cork at the moment lunge feeding.
I'm on the boat tomorrow.
Colin Barnes 0863273226.
With the fine weather I believe Colin has more trips planned.
The whales are off Toe Head.
Pete

Sent from my iPad
Subject: Re: Waxwings feeding at night under street lights
From: Mícheál Casey <michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 21:51:54 +0000
Thanks Lee, likewise, I have never seen feeding any time close to dusk. Its 
very cold here tonight - this might just reflect newly arrived hungry birds 
taking advantage of the street lights to feed up as berries are getting scarce. 
These birds were present at lunchtime. 


Mícheál
On 27 Nov 2012, at 21:30, Lee G R Evans wrote:

> Michael
> 
> Never, ever, heard of this behaviour before - like Starlings, generally  
> roost together and fly off quite early
> 
> Cheers
> 
> Lee
> 
> 
> In a message dated 27/11/2012 21:25:14 GMT Standard Time,  
> michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM writes:
> 
> I had a  phone call about an hour ago from Declan Skehan who was watching 
> Waxwings  feeding on berries under streetlights in Sligo - are they known to 
> feed at  night?  
> 
> Thanks
> 
> Mícheál=
Subject: Re: Waxwings feeding at night under street lights
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 16:30:15 -0500
Michael
 
Never, ever, heard of this behaviour before - like Starlings, generally  
roost together and fly off quite early
 
Cheers
 
Lee
 
 
In a message dated 27/11/2012 21:25:14 GMT Standard Time,  
michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM writes:

I had a  phone call about an hour ago from Declan Skehan who was watching 
Waxwings  feeding on berries under streetlights in Sligo - are they known to 
feed at  night?  

Thanks

Mícheál=
Subject: Waxwings feeding at night under street lights
From: Mícheál Casey <michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 21:32:24 +0000
Hi all,

I had a phone call about an hour ago from Declan Skehan who was watching 
Waxwings feeding on berries under streetlights in Sligo - are they known to 
feed at night? 


Thanks

Mícheál
Subject: South Uist takes landfall of two Nearctic stragglers
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 14:50:49 -0500
On South Uist (Western Isles) this afternoon, a PIED-BILLED GREBE then an  
AMERICAN COOT were found: the grebe was on Loch Smerclate whilst the Coot 
was  showing well at Eilean nan Ramh, opposite the Co-op shop.
 
Elsewhere, in North Wales, the female DESERT WHEATEAR was showing well (see 
 photos above) north of Rhyl (Conwy), on the north side of the golf course 
on the  beach opposite where the cycle path reaches from the golf course.
 
In Norfolk Breckland, the BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER is still to be found on the  
River Thet, in central Thetford
 
Good Birding Always
 
Lee
 
Premier  Bird News direct to your computer and phone now available on 
subscription for  just £12* per year (* limited offer only) - email 
_LGREUK400 AT aol.com_ (mailto:LGREUK400 AT aol.com)  for details

Lee G R  Evans, Ornithological Consultant, British Birding 
Association/UK400  Club
Professional Guiding from just £63/70 Euros
per  day
2013 Tour Itinerary shortly to be announced but vacancies still on  Round 
Britain Tours from 19-27 January and 17-26  May - email Lee at 
LGREUK400 AT aol.com

*NEW FOR  2013 - October Birdathon Fortnights - getting the most out of the 
 rarity jamboree
Subject: Re: Dunlins Roosting
From: Andrew Kelly <andrew_kelly_home AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 21:58:59 +0000
Pete 
Would love to see this but couldn't find it on Irishbirding.com
Can you post a lin?
Thanks
Andrew




> Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 16:55:26 +0000
> From: pwolstenholme AT EIRCOM.NET
> Subject: Dunlins Roosting
> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
> 
> Hi Everyone,
> On my IWEBS count of COURTMACSHERRY Bay, Co. Cork today,
> I noticed that Dunlins sleeping on the high Tide roost had 
> Excavated scrapes in the sand, in which they were then sleeping.
> In all my 19 yrs of counts in the bay, I've never seen this behaviour before.
> I've sent a photo to Irishbirding.com.
> Best wishes,
> Pete Wolstenholme
> 
> Sent from my iPad
 		 	   		  
Subject: Re: Surfbirds?
From: Hugh Delaney <hughdelaney AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 17:26:37 +0000
The RBA map has been missing for a few weeks (you can still access it from
Birdforum or from the RBA site), European stop press page is also down but
still showing the Netfugl WP tweets.. looks like the site might have been
hacked again.

Hugh
Subject: Surfbirds?
From: Eamonn O'Donnell <bobolink300 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 15:41:10 +0000
Anybody know what's happened to the Surfbirds website? Firstly the daily
rare bird maps disappeared, then the WP tweeting thing stopped and now the
photo galleries are empty! Someone is really out to get them  !!

Eamonn
Subject: Dunlins Roosting
From: Peter Wolstenholme <pwolstenholme AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 16:55:26 +0000
Hi Everyone,
On my IWEBS count of COURTMACSHERRY Bay, Co. Cork today,
I noticed that Dunlins sleeping on the high Tide roost had 
Excavated scrapes in the sand, in which they were then sleeping.
In all my 19 yrs of counts in the bay, I've never seen this behaviour before.
I've sent a photo to Irishbirding.com.
Best wishes,
Pete Wolstenholme

Sent from my iPad
Subject: The Friday Review
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 15:27:04 -0500
Well we have had some torrential rain in recent  days, with parts of Devon, 
Cornwall, Somerset and Wales being hit the hardest;  the Environment Agency 
has no less than 112 flood warnings in operation and huge  areas of the 
west country are under water.. Gale force winds accompanied the  rain too, 
causing structural damage and numerous fallen trees in their  wake.
 
Both LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remain in situ: at  Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) and 
Alkborough Flats (North Lincs) respectively, as do  the two LESSER 
YELLOWLEGS - on the Wildfowler's Pool at the end of Railway  Crossing Lane at 
Aldcliff Marshes (Lancs) and in Ernesettle Creek, Plymouth (South Devon), 
whilst 

a GREY PHALAROPE was this afternoon on the Yeo Estuary,  Clevedon (Avon) in 
the Blake's Pool vicinity. In Staffordshire, a WHITE-RUMPED  SANDPIPER is at 
Drayton Bassett GP.
 
Rare wildfowl include drake Ring-necked Ducks at  Chew Valley Lake (Avon), 
Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics), Helston Loe Pool (Cornwall)  and on St John's 
Loch (Caithness), 3 drake Surf Scoters still offshore of  Llandulas (Conwy), 
the drake American Wigeon still at Wintersett Reservoir (West  Yorks) and the 
adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE at Farlington Marsh Deeps  (Hants).
 
No less than 20 Great White Egrets are wintering  in the UK, including 4 at 
Dungeness RSPB (Kent), whilst the GLOSSY IBIS survives  at Marloes Mere 
(Pembs).
 
Freshwater displacements include a first-year  Red-necked Grebe on Queen 
Mother Reservoir (Berkshire), Slavonian Grebes at  Priory Country Park, 
Bedford (Beds) and Thorpe Park (Surrey), Great Northern  Divers at Chasewater 
(Staffs), Chelmarsh Reservoir (Salop) and Blithfield  Reservoir (Staffs).
 
Still perhaps 5,000 Bohemian Waxwings in the UK,  sizeable flocks including 
600 on the south side of Ullapool (Sutherland), 400+  on Skye (Highland), 
80 in Aberdeen, 64 in Broome Road, Dumfries (D & G), 60  still by the 
entrance to Bielside Gardens, West Barns (Lothian), 86 in Milner St, Warrington 

(Cheshire), 180 on Arnott Crescent, Hulme (Gtr Manchester), 55 in  Lenton 
(Notts), at least 200 in Denbigh (Clwyd), 52 in Birkenhead (Cheshire), 50  at 
Fairburn Ings RSPB (West Yorks), 380+ in Sheffield (South Yorks) and 200 in  
Hunslet (West Yorks).
 
Wintering Great Grey Shrikes include singles on  Cannock Chase (Staffs), 
Thursley Common (Surrey), Beaulieu Road Station, New  Forest (Hants), Morden 
Bog (Dorset), Santon Warren (Suffolk), Therfield Heath  (Herts) and near 
Colchester at Hardy's Green (TL 942  234) (Essex)
 
A RICHARD'S PIPIT was seen briefly at Long Nanny  Burn (Northumberland) 
with just wintering SHORE LARK at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse (Norfolk) whilst 

up to 8 HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS remain on  Unst (Shetland). In West 
Cornwall, a first-winter SUBALPINE WARBLER remains in  suburban gardens in St 
Just - generally at the rear of 41 Princess Street,  whilst in Scotland, the 
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER at Kilminning (Fife) was last  reported on 20 
November.
 
In IRELAND, 12 Waxwings are at the Albert Bridge  Road/Short Strand 
junction in Belfast (County Antrim), with a further 55 at the  Liffey Valley 
Shopping Centre in Clondalkin, Dublin (County  Dublin).
 
A BLUE-WINGED TEAL is at Ballylongford, with the  long-staying GLOSSY IBIS 
at Timoleague (County Cork).  

Premier  Bird News direct to your computer and phone now available on 
subscription for  just £12* per year (* limited offer only) - email 
_LGREUK400 AT aol.com_ (mailto:LGREUK400 AT aol.com)  for details

Lee G R  Evans, Ornithological Consultant, British Birding 
Association/UK400  Club
Professional Guiding from just £63/70 Euros

per  day
2013 Tour Itinerary shortly to be announced but vacancies still on  Round 
Britain Tours from 19-27 January and 17-26  May - email Lee at  
LGREUK400 AT aol.com
Subject: Re: Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa
From: Jez Simms <jez.simms AT ATSGROUP.NET>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 08:24:04 +0400
Hi, it was a crash landing. The tyre burst on our light aircraft on landing
at Iringa in Tanzania, it slewed all over the runway and then ran off into a
thankfully boggy apron, in doing so it flushed a flock of 5 owls so when
everyone evacuated and headed for the tarmac I ran in the other direction to
photograph the Marsh Owls, I managed to get a halfway decent picture of one
of them, its on me blog. It was only a minor incident and no one was hurt,
just a few bruises. Cheers Jez

-----Original Message-----
From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
Peter Wolstenholme
Sent: Jumatano, Novemba 21, 2012 9:23 PM
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa

Hi Everyone,
Heard that Jez Simms, well known west Cork birder has survived an air crash
in Africa.
Apparently all he could talk about after the crash was a sighting of a rare
bird he spotted Shortly after crashing. 
If you're still out there Jez, perhaps you can fill us all in on the
details.
Cheers pete w.


Sent from my iPad=
Subject: Re: Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa
From: Graham Clarke <grahamclarke2 AT GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:33:03 +0000
Hi Pete

Jez mentioned this on his very interesting blog recently.

http://jezsimmsblog.tumblr.com/page/2

I liked how Jez described that the Marsh Owls were "well worth crashing
for"........that's what birding is all about!

Graham

http://grahamsphoto.blogspot.ie/



On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM, Peter Wolstenholme <
pwolstenholme AT eircom.net> wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> Heard that Jez Simms, well known west Cork birder has survived an air
> crash in Africa.
> Apparently all he could talk about after the crash was a sighting of a
> rare bird he spotted
> Shortly after crashing.
> If you're still out there Jez, perhaps you can fill us all in on the
> details.
> Cheers pete w.
>
>
> Sent from my iPad
Subject: Irish Birder survives Air Crash in Africa
From: Peter Wolstenholme <pwolstenholme AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:22:46 +0000
Hi Everyone,
Heard that Jez Simms, well known west Cork birder has survived an air crash in 
Africa. 

Apparently all he could talk about after the crash was a sighting of a rare 
bird he spotted 

Shortly after crashing. 
If you're still out there Jez, perhaps you can fill us all in on the details.
Cheers pete w.


Sent from my iPad
Subject: Re: PHYLOGENY OF BIRDS
From: dermot omahony <phyllosc AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 11:43:52 +0000
Thanks Alan for posting this.

There are some amazing lineages there as you point out - and the graph is
great - giving a global overview of the whole evolutionary process and all
the birds of the world on one page!!


Dermot


On 16 November 2012 14:37, Alan Horan  wrote:

> It's worth having a look at this; http://birdtree.org/
> A quick look at the graph-
> http://litoria.eeb.yale.edu/bird-tree/images/BirdTreeHighRes3.pdf shows
> New World Vultures are back with Hawks and Eagles and look where Penguins
> and Divers have ended up.
>
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Graham Clarke <grahamclarke2 AT GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 16:51:57 +0000
All

I stopped by Rostellan lake today and there's still something troubling me
about all of this. Its the fact that the 'Lesser Scaup' has now buggered
off and the Tuftie flock remains. OK, perhaps it was predated or sick and
has died but it looked in good health. I think its strange that the bird
now appears to have left the area. I don't wish to re-ignite the ID debate
around this bird as there have already been some excellent arguments for
and against but this little piece of the puzzle bothers me.
I had never seen Lesser Scaup so apart from my photos there was nothing I
could contribute to the ID discussion. For me the bird always looked
'different' and now that its no longer there just adds to the mystery.

Cheers

Graham

http://grahamsphoto.blogspot.ie/

On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM, richard mundy  wrote:

> Hi Pete et al,
>
> I'm sure Pete will agree with me that the bird at Timoleague is not a
> female Garganey with a strangely-coloured bill as his post may have
> inadvertent implied. I'm just posting this in case anyone is thinking of
> coming to look at it, dont! It is the size and shape of a Mallard, it is
> swimming with mallards and it is very tame indeed, most definitely 'coming
> to bread'. I would not agree that other than its bill it looks like a
> female Garganey, it looks to me like a mallard hybrid with a somewhat
> Garganey-like head pattern and a grey bill.
>
> Rick
>
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 5:46 PM, Peter Wolstenholme <
> pwolstenholme AT eircom.net> wrote:
>
> > Hi Mike,
> > From the videos, the most noticeable difference from the tufted a, is
> that
> > the bill is much deeper based, Infact deeper for its whole length. The
> > tufted bills look dairy besides it.
> > There is a funny duck on the duck pond at Timoleague , it looks like a
> > cross between a mallard and a garganey. It has a large pale super' and a
> > blue and black bill, otherwise looks like a female garganey.
> > Ducks eh !
> > Pete w.
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
> >
> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 22:03, Mike O'Keeffe  wrote:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I have thrown up some HD video of this bird on Youtube.  Follow four
> > links
> > > below to four videos.  Hopefully this will generate some constructive
> > > debate.
> > >
> > >
> >
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSamePeWSj8&feature=autoplay&list=HL135284000
> > > 7&playnext=1
> > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIMCxMEqqv0&feature=youtu.be
> > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz70OqJ3pTA&feature=youtu.be
> > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUDfPOfYNM&feature=youtu.be
> > >
> > > Incidentally the footage is taken using my new Digiscoping setup.  It's
> > the
> > > Canon S100 through a Swarovski Scope.  Delighted with the results so
> far
> > and
> > > highly recommend this kit for anyone thinking of changing their gear.
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > > Mike
> >
>
Subject: Not a lot new turning up - the Friday roundup
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:03:23 -0500
Same old, same old......
 
Not much on offer today I am afraid, so little to target for at the  weekend
 
Pick of the bunch perhaps, a relatively new-ish GREAT WHITE EGRET in  
Cambridgeshire - 2 miles east of Whittlesey amd SE of Eastrea at Wype Doles  
favouring fenland ditches north of Wypemere Farm, whilst up to 4 (of the 5)  
still remain in the Dungeness RSPB reserve area.
 
Both LESSER YELLOWLEGS' remain present with that at Aldcliffe Marsh (Lancs) 
 and the other at Ernesettle Creek, Plymouth (South Devon), with the  
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS still at Long Nanny Burn (Northumberland) at Slimbridge 

WWT (Gloucs) and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Drayton Bassett Pits (Staffs) on 
 the new workings just south of the North Pit (park sensibly by Middleton 
Hall  and take the muddy track to the conveyor belt and canal).
 
An adult COMMON CRANE is a good bet at Amberley Wild Brooks (RSPB (West  
Sussex), having been present all week, whilst a LITTLE AUK has survived 
swimming  back and forth along the beach between Cley and Salthouse (North 
Norfolk) for a second day. In West Sussex also, the first-winter female HOODED 

MERGANSER remains faithful to the tidal creek at the north end (North Wall) of 

Pagham  Harbour (park in Church lane and walk to the sluice).
 
In the Southwest, Chew Valley lake (Avon) offers both LESSER SCAUP and  
RING-NECKED DUCK, whilst in Hampshire, the adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE continues 
to  graze The Deeps fields amongst 2,500 Dark-bellied Brent Geese at 
Farlington Marshes HWT. All 3 of this autumn's RING-NECKED DUCKS still remain 
on 

Tresco  Great Pool (Scilly), as does the female on Slapton Ley (South Devon)..
 
Other RED-BREASTED GEESE include single adults ESE of Anthorn at Whitrigg  
(Cumbria) and on Islay (Argyll), where on the latter island, up to 9 
different  vagrant CANADA GEESE remain with Barnacle Geese.
 
In Breckland Norfolk, a BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER has started to get more  
reliable, showing up more frequently just north of the bridge over the River  
Theyt in central Thetford
 
A PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER present for its third day in the old lighthouse  
garden at Dungeness (Kent) (with the ever-present GLAUCOUS GULL nearby on the  
beach) whilst in Scotland, the EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER that has no plans 
to  leave still lingers in the Rose bushes within the lower car park at 
Kilminning  (Fife Ness, Fife).
 
Up to 6,000 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS remain in Britain, still largely in northern  
England and Scotland - the largest single gathering of which being the 
flock of  1,000 or so birds in the Kyle of Lochalshe and Kyleakin areas 
(Highland).
 
A few snippets from IRELAND where the 5 COMMON CRANES and at least one  
juvenile NORTHERN HARRIER remain at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford), the female SURF  
SCOTER and VELVET SCOTER offshore at Glenbeigh (Co. Kerry) and pair of SURF  
SCOTERS at Gowlane, a RICHARD'S PIPIT in stubble fields near Forgotten 
Corner  (Tacumshin), a SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF for a second day in Churchtown 
(Tacumshin), the adult FORSTER'S TERN in Galway Harbour (Co. Galway) and a 
LESSER 

SCAUP (one  of three recent birds) near Castlegregory (Co. Kerry) at Lough 
Gill.
 
Premier Bird News direct to your computer and phone now available  on 
subscription for just £12* per year (* limited offer only) - email 
_LGREUK400 AT aol.com_ (mailto:LGREUK400 AT aol.com)   for details
 
Lee G R  Evans, Ornithological Consultant, British Birding 
Association/UK400  Club
Professional Guiding from just £63/70 Euros
per  day
2013 Tour Itinerary shortly to be announced but vacancies still on  Round 
Britain Tours from 19-27 January and 17-26  May - email Lee at  
LGREUK400 AT aol.com
Subject: PHYLOGENY OF BIRDS
From: Alan Horan <mail AT ALANHORAN.COM>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 14:37:45 -0000
It's worth having a look at this; http://birdtree.org/
A quick look at the graph-
http://litoria.eeb.yale.edu/bird-tree/images/BirdTreeHighRes3.pdf shows
New World Vultures are back with Hawks and Eagles and look where Penguins
and Divers have ended up.
Subject: Re: Irish invasion of SW Britain
From: Francois Mullan <francoismullan AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 17:40:46 +0000
Are R.B Choughs in Ireland of a distinct race? If so can they be told apart
from British and European birds in the field, or only through DNA anaylises?

Many thanks,
Francois.M

http://www.Glasnevinbirding.blogspot.com/
On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 1:32 PM, Collinson, Dr Jon M. <
m.collinson AT abdn.ac.uk> wrote:

> Lee and others might be interested in this...
> http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/archive-details-12997.php  shows that the
> 'new' Cornish Choughs appear to have come from Ireland.
>
> ATB
> Martin
>
> ----------------------------------------------
> J. Martin Collinson - m.collinson AT abdn.ac.uk
>
> Reader in Biomedical Sciences
> School of Medical Sciences
> University of Aberdeen
>
> Institute of Medical Sciences
> Foresterhill
> Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
> UK
>
> Tel:  +44 1224 437515
> Fax:  +44 1224 437465
> Mob:  +44 7899 065930
>
> Aberdeen Clubfoot Consortium - Naked Scientist Interview.
> http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/1784/
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
> Lee G R Evans
> Sent: 15 November 2012 10:16
> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
> Subject: Irish invasion of SW Britain
>
> In addition to the large numbers of apparent IRISH COAL TITS that made it
> to the Isles of Scilly and West Cornwall, it now appears that an IRISH
> RED-BILLED CHOUGH may have immigrated and made landfall in the region. A
> Chough sadly died there at the beginning of November and DNA is being
> tested on the  bird's feathers to see if it can be linked to the Irish
> population
>
> Also, just in case anybody has not purchased the following, Amazon are
> offering an exceptional deal on the large format Collins Bird
> Identification Guide at the moment - just £15 post free - a saving of £35
>
> Best wishes
>
> Lee
>
>
> The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No
> SC013683.
>
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 17:20:27 -0000
Eamonn
I'm a lover not a fighter! Mind you, don't ever put it to the test!
Phil.
http://theartofphildavis.blogspot.com/
http://www.NewIrishArt.com/PhilDavis



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Eamonn O'Donnell" 
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 4:25 PM
To: 
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup

> I'm glad your not my Rottweiler. I would expect one that bit a bit more 
> and
> kissed a bit less !
> :-)
>
> Eamonn
>
>
> On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM, Phil Davis  wrote:
>
>> Well done Owen, a great summary of your arguments and I think probably 
>> the
>> first time in birding history in Ireland that a top birder, despite the
>> strengths of his arguments, has had the balls to admit they might be 
>> wrong.
>> Good on you.
>>
>> Phil (Owens Rottweiler) Davis
>>
>> 
http://theartofphildavis.**blogspot.com/ 

>> http://www.NewIrishArt.com/**PhilDavis
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------**--------------------
>> From: "Owen Foley" 
>> Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:26 PM
>> To: 
>> Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
>>
>>  Hi Killian,
>>>
>>> Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
>>> thoughts.
>>> It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your
>>> off
>>> the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
>>> enough.
>>>
>>> Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, 
>>> you
>>> watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it 
>>> would
>>> not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. 
>>> It
>>> has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your 
>>> replacements
>>> on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little 
>>> vendettas
>>> go.
>>>
>>> As one British correspondent emailed me
>>>
>>> "Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
>>> mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
>>> way...."
>>>
>>> It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.
>>>
>>> In response to the points you have raised.
>>>
>>> "BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>>> 'text book'
>>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the 
>>> differing
>>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or 
>>> obliterate
>>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is 
>>> wet.
>>>
>>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side 
>>> of
>>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may 
>>> perhaps
>>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>>> Duck."
>>>
>>> I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited 
>>> to
>>> just the odd Lesser Scaup.
>>> Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found 
>>> dozens
>>> of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how
>>> dark
>>> their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note 
>>> the
>>> large variation in dates.
>>>
>>> It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
>>> (when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
>>> them.)
>>> Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
>>> showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
>>> their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.
>>>
>>> The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a 
>>> bluer
>>> bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard 
>>> to
>>> find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have 
>>> been
>>> more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close
>>> up
>>> shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
>>> bill edge.
>>>
>>> E.g. 
>>> http://www.pbase.com/image/**93952528
>>>
>>> "HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps 
>>> especially
>>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a 
>>> real
>>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a 
>>> head
>>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>>> photos,
>>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than 
>>> I'd
>>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, 
>>> when
>>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>>> somewhat)."
>>>
>>> I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
>>> watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both
>>> after
>>> a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
>>> other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
>>> However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
>>> shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
>>> co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.
>>>
>>> However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter
>>> their
>>> appearance significantly.
>>>
>>> This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/**hermann_park_february_2007 

>>>
>>> Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a
>>> duck
>>> that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll
>>> on
>>> gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
>>> pretty solidly tipped too.
>>> Hybrid? Or not?
>>>
>>> I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds
>>> head
>>> feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think 
>>> this
>>> bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.
>>>
>>> "UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>>> dark
>>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation 
>>> of
>>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater 
>>> Scaups
>>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to 
>>> have
>>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown 
>>> by
>>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years 
>>> I
>>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the 
>>> North
>>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it 
>>> was
>>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
>>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>>
>>> I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem
>>> for
>>> Lesser Scaup.
>>> To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
>>> Scaup Juveniles.
>>>
>>> 1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.
>>>
>>> 2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes
>>>
>>> 3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks
>>>
>>> Just some random examples.
>>>
>>> 1 - 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**118774979 

>>>
>>> 2 - 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**134136573 

>>>
>>> 3 - 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**140010550 

>>>
>>> Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, 
>>> when
>>> most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
>>> But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into
>>> the
>>> scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.
>>>
>>> Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
>>> begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
>>> parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature
>>> well
>>> into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March 
>>> (unless
>>> that was just when it was uploaded)
>>> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/**revs45/4446084351/in/**photostream/ 

>>>
>>> Or this one in January 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/argo1/**image/140760159 

>>>
>>> Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many 
>>> birds
>>> showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.
>>>
>>> Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I 
>>> am
>>> no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.
>>>
>>> Owen
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney 
>>> >> >wrote:
>>>
>>>  Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions
>>>> about
>>>> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me
>>>> about
>>>> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>>>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>>>> 'text book'
>>>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>>>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the
>>>> differing
>>>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>>>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>>>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where 
>>>> the
>>>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or 
>>>> obliterate
>>>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is
>>>> wet.
>>>>
>>>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side
>>>> of
>>>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>>>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may 
>>>> perhaps
>>>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>>>> Duck.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>>>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps
>>>> especially
>>>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a 
>>>> real
>>>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>>>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown 
>>>> have
>>>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a
>>>> head
>>>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>>>> photos,
>>>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than 
>>>> I'd
>>>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity,
>>>> when
>>>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>>>> somewhat).
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>>>> dark
>>>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the 
>>>> much
>>>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>>>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation 
>>>> of
>>>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater 
>>>> Scaups
>>>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>>>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to 
>>>> have
>>>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown
>>>> by
>>>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>>>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years 
>>>> I
>>>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the
>>>> North
>>>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches 
>>>> indicate
>>>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have 
>>>> had
>>>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it
>>>> was
>>>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
>>>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? 
>>>> Perhaps.
>>>> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and
>>>> the
>>>> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
>>>> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line
>>>> between
>>>> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that
>>>> is
>>>> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a 
>>>> case
>>>> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
>>>> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that 
>>>> can
>>>> be
>>>> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about 
>>>> this
>>>> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck,
>>>> but
>>>> I could well be missing something.
>>>>
>>>> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of
>>>> this
>>>> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Killian
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey 
>>>> >>> >wrote:
>>>>
>>>> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike 
>>>> > O'Keefe's
>>>> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more >
>>>> like
>>>> a
>>>> > "tuft"?
>>>> >
>>>> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has 
>>>> > a
>>>> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
>>>> Lesser
>>>> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
>>>> >
>>>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/**nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-**
>>>> 
allthosebirds/wherethecomments 

>>>> suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the
>>>> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>>>> >
>>>> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
>>>> doing
>>>> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
>>>> > something.
>>>> >
>>>> > Mícheál
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> > > Phil,
>>>> > >
>>>> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> http://www.birdforum.net/**attachment.php?attachmentid=**
>>>> 
413372&d=1352366599 

>>>> > >
>>>> > > Owen
>>>> > >
>>>> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis 
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > >
>>>> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds >
>>>> >> show
>>>> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye
>>>> doesn’t
>>>> > look
>>>> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
>>>> accepted
>>>> > >> by birders as a LS?
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
>>>> > >> LS3.jpg
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
>>>> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> > > --
>>>> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
>>>> people
>>>> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>>>> > > - Douglas Adams
>>>> > >
>>>> > > 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>>> >
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
>>> very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>>> - Douglas Adams
>>>
>>> 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>>
>>>
> 
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:31:15 -0000
A small but insignificant exaggeration maybe!
Mrs Foley Davis
http://theartofphildavis.blogspot.com/
http://www.NewIrishArt.com/PhilDavis



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Dermot McCabe" 
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 4:12 PM
To: 
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup

> It is indeed an admirable thing to admit to an error but "the first time
> in birding history in
> Ireland"???
> Owen, your mammy couldn't do a better job for you!
> Dermot.
> On 15 November 2012 14:51, Phil Davis  wrote:
>
>> Well done Owen, a great summary of your arguments and I think probably 
>> the
>> first time in birding history in Ireland that a top birder, despite the
>> strengths of his arguments, has had the balls to admit they might be 
>> wrong.
>> Good on you.
>>
>> Phil (Owens Rottweiler) Davis
>>
>> 
http://theartofphildavis.**blogspot.com/ 

>> http://www.NewIrishArt.com/**PhilDavis
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------**--------------------
>> From: "Owen Foley" 
>> Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:26 PM
>> To: 
>> Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
>>
>>
>> Hi Killian,
>>>
>>> Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
>>> thoughts.
>>> It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your
>>> off
>>> the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
>>> enough.
>>>
>>> Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, 
>>> you
>>> watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it 
>>> would
>>> not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. 
>>> It
>>> has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your 
>>> replacements
>>> on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little 
>>> vendettas
>>> go.
>>>
>>> As one British correspondent emailed me
>>>
>>> "Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
>>> mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
>>> way...."
>>>
>>> It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.
>>>
>>> In response to the points you have raised.
>>>
>>> "BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>>> 'text book'
>>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the 
>>> differing
>>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or 
>>> obliterate
>>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is 
>>> wet.
>>>
>>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side 
>>> of
>>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may 
>>> perhaps
>>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>>> Duck."
>>>
>>> I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited 
>>> to
>>> just the odd Lesser Scaup.
>>> Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found 
>>> dozens
>>> of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how
>>> dark
>>> their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note 
>>> the
>>> large variation in dates.
>>>
>>> It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
>>> (when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
>>> them.)
>>> Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
>>> showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
>>> their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.
>>>
>>> The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a 
>>> bluer
>>> bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard 
>>> to
>>> find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have 
>>> been
>>> more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close
>>> up
>>> shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
>>> bill edge.
>>>
>>> E.g. 
>>> http://www.pbase.com/image/**93952528
>>>
>>> "HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps 
>>> especially
>>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a 
>>> real
>>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a 
>>> head
>>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>>> photos,
>>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than 
>>> I'd
>>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, 
>>> when
>>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>>> somewhat)."
>>>
>>> I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
>>> watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both
>>> after
>>> a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
>>> other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
>>> However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
>>> shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
>>> co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.
>>>
>>> However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter
>>> their
>>> appearance significantly.
>>>
>>> This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/**hermann_park_february_2007 

>>>
>>> Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a
>>> duck
>>> that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll
>>> on
>>> gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
>>> pretty solidly tipped too.
>>> Hybrid? Or not?
>>>
>>> I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds
>>> head
>>> feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think 
>>> this
>>> bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.
>>>
>>> "UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>>> dark
>>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation 
>>> of
>>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater 
>>> Scaups
>>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to 
>>> have
>>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown 
>>> by
>>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years 
>>> I
>>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the 
>>> North
>>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it 
>>> was
>>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
>>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>>
>>> I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem
>>> for
>>> Lesser Scaup.
>>> To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
>>> Scaup Juveniles.
>>>
>>> 1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.
>>>
>>> 2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes
>>>
>>> 3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks
>>>
>>> Just some random examples.
>>>
>>> 1 - 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**118774979 

>>>
>>> 2 - 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**134136573 

>>>
>>> 3 - 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**140010550 

>>>
>>> Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, 
>>> when
>>> most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
>>> But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into
>>> the
>>> scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.
>>>
>>> Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
>>> begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
>>> parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature
>>> well
>>> into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March 
>>> (unless
>>> that was just when it was uploaded)
>>> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/**revs45/4446084351/in/**photostream/ 

>>>
>>> Or this one in January 
>>> 
http://www.pbase.com/argo1/**image/140760159 

>>>
>>> Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many 
>>> birds
>>> showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.
>>>
>>> Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I 
>>> am
>>> no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.
>>>
>>> Owen
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney 
>>> >> >wrote:
>>>
>>> Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions
>>>> about
>>>> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me
>>>> about
>>>> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>>>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>>>> 'text book'
>>>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>>>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the
>>>> differing
>>>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>>>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>>>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where 
>>>> the
>>>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or 
>>>> obliterate
>>>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is
>>>> wet.
>>>>
>>>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side
>>>> of
>>>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>>>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may 
>>>> perhaps
>>>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>>>> Duck.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>>>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps
>>>> especially
>>>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a 
>>>> real
>>>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>>>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown 
>>>> have
>>>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a
>>>> head
>>>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>>>> photos,
>>>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than 
>>>> I'd
>>>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity,
>>>> when
>>>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>>>> somewhat).
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>>>> dark
>>>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the 
>>>> much
>>>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>>>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation 
>>>> of
>>>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater 
>>>> Scaups
>>>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>>>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to 
>>>> have
>>>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown
>>>> by
>>>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>>>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years 
>>>> I
>>>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the
>>>> North
>>>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches 
>>>> indicate
>>>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have 
>>>> had
>>>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it
>>>> was
>>>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
>>>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? 
>>>> Perhaps.
>>>> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and
>>>> the
>>>> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
>>>> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line
>>>> between
>>>> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that
>>>> is
>>>> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a 
>>>> case
>>>> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
>>>> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that 
>>>> can
>>>> be
>>>> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about 
>>>> this
>>>> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck,
>>>> but
>>>> I could well be missing something.
>>>>
>>>> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of
>>>> this
>>>> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Killian
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey 
>>>> >>> >wrote:
>>>>
>>>> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike 
>>>> > O'Keefe's
>>>> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more >
>>>> like
>>>> a
>>>> > "tuft"?
>>>> >
>>>> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has 
>>>> > a
>>>> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
>>>> Lesser
>>>> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
>>>> >
>>>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/**nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-**
>>>> 
allthosebirds/wherethecomments 

>>>> suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the
>>>> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>>>> >
>>>> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
>>>> doing
>>>> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
>>>> > something.
>>>> >
>>>> > Mícheál
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> > > Phil,
>>>> > >
>>>> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> http://www.birdforum.net/**attachment.php?attachmentid=**
>>>> 
413372&d=1352366599 

>>>> > >
>>>> > > Owen
>>>> > >
>>>> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis 
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > >
>>>> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds >
>>>> >> show
>>>> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye
>>>> doesn’t
>>>> > look
>>>> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
>>>> accepted
>>>> > >> by birders as a LS?
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
>>>> > >> LS3.jpg
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
>>>> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> > > --
>>>> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
>>>> people
>>>> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>>>> > > - Douglas Adams
>>>> > >
>>>> > > 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>>> >
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
>>> very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>>> - Douglas Adams
>>>
>>> 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>>
>>>
> 
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Eamonn O'Donnell <bobolink300 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:25:53 +0000
I'm glad your not my Rottweiler. I would expect one that bit a bit more and
kissed a bit less !
:-)

Eamonn


On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM, Phil Davis  wrote:

> Well done Owen, a great summary of your arguments and I think probably the
> first time in birding history in Ireland that a top birder, despite the
> strengths of his arguments, has had the balls to admit they might be wrong.
> Good on you.
>
> Phil (Owens Rottweiler) Davis
>
> 
http://theartofphildavis.**blogspot.com/ 

> http://www.NewIrishArt.com/**PhilDavis
>
>
>
> ------------------------------**--------------------
> From: "Owen Foley" 
> Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:26 PM
> To: 
> Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
>
>  Hi Killian,
>>
>> Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
>> thoughts.
>> It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your
>> off
>> the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
>> enough.
>>
>> Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, you
>> watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it would
>> not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. It
>> has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your replacements
>> on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little vendettas
>> go.
>>
>> As one British correspondent emailed me
>>
>> "Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
>> mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
>> way...."
>>
>> It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.
>>
>> In response to the points you have raised.
>>
>> "BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>> 'text book'
>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.
>>
>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>> Duck."
>>
>> I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited to
>> just the odd Lesser Scaup.
>> Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found dozens
>> of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how
>> dark
>> their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note the
>> large variation in dates.
>>
>> It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
>> (when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
>> them.)
>> Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
>> showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
>> their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.
>>
>> The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a bluer
>> bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard to
>> find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have been
>> more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close
>> up
>> shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
>> bill edge.
>>
>> E.g. 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**93952528 

>>
>> "HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>> photos,
>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>> somewhat)."
>>
>> I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
>> watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both
>> after
>> a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
>> other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
>> However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
>> shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
>> co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.
>>
>> However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter
>> their
>> appearance significantly.
>>
>> This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
>> 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/**hermann_park_february_2007 

>>
>> Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a
>> duck
>> that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll
>> on
>> gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
>> pretty solidly tipped too.
>> Hybrid? Or not?
>>
>> I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds
>> head
>> feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think this
>> bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.
>>
>> "UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>> dark
>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>
>> I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem
>> for
>> Lesser Scaup.
>> To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
>> Scaup Juveniles.
>>
>> 1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.
>>
>> 2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes
>>
>> 3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks
>>
>> Just some random examples.
>>
>> 1 - 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**118774979 

>>
>> 2 - 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**134136573 

>>
>> 3 - 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**140010550 

>>
>> Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, when
>> most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
>> But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into
>> the
>> scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.
>>
>> Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
>> begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
>> parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature
>> well
>> into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March (unless
>> that was just when it was uploaded)
>> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/**revs45/4446084351/in/**photostream/ 

>>
>> Or this one in January 
http://www.pbase.com/argo1/**image/140760159 

>>
>> Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many birds
>> showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.
>>
>> Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I am
>> no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.
>>
>> Owen
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney > >wrote:
>>
>>  Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions
>>> about
>>> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me
>>> about
>>> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>>> 'text book'
>>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the
>>> differing
>>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
>>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is
>>> wet.
>>>
>>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side
>>> of
>>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
>>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>>> Duck.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps
>>> especially
>>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
>>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a
>>> head
>>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>>> photos,
>>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
>>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity,
>>> when
>>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>>> somewhat).
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>>> dark
>>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
>>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
>>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
>>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown
>>> by
>>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
>>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the
>>> North
>>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it
>>> was
>>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
>>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>>
>>>
>>> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
>>> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and
>>> the
>>> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
>>> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line
>>> between
>>> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that
>>> is
>>> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
>>> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
>>> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can
>>> be
>>> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
>>> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck,
>>> but
>>> I could well be missing something.
>>>
>>> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of
>>> this
>>> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> Killian
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey >> >wrote:
>>>
>>> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
>>> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more >
>>> like
>>> a
>>> > "tuft"?
>>> >
>>> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
>>> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
>>> Lesser
>>> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
>>> >
>>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/**nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-**
>>> 
allthosebirds/wherethecomments 
suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the 

>>> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>>> >
>>> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
>>> doing
>>> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
>>> > something.
>>> >
>>> > Mícheál
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>>> >
>>> > > Phil,
>>> > >
>>> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> http://www.birdforum.net/**attachment.php?attachmentid=**
>>> 
413372&d=1352366599 

>>> > >
>>> > > Owen
>>> > >
>>> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis 
>>> wrote:
>>> > >
>>> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds >
>>> >> show
>>> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye
>>> doesn’t
>>> > look
>>> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
>>> > >>
>>> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
>>> accepted
>>> > >> by birders as a LS?
>>> > >>
>>> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
>>> > >> LS3.jpg
>>> > >>
>>> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
>>> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>>> > >>
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> > > --
>>> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
>>> people
>>> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>>> > > - Douglas Adams
>>> > >
>>> > > 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
>> very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>> - Douglas Adams
>>
>> 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>
>>
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Dermot McCabe <dermot.mccabe AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:12:42 +0000
It is indeed an admirable thing to admit to an error but "the first time
in birding history in
Ireland"???
Owen, your mammy couldn't do a better job for you!
Dermot.
On 15 November 2012 14:51, Phil Davis  wrote:

> Well done Owen, a great summary of your arguments and I think probably the
> first time in birding history in Ireland that a top birder, despite the
> strengths of his arguments, has had the balls to admit they might be wrong.
> Good on you.
>
> Phil (Owens Rottweiler) Davis
>
> 
http://theartofphildavis.**blogspot.com/ 

> http://www.NewIrishArt.com/**PhilDavis
>
>
>
> ------------------------------**--------------------
> From: "Owen Foley" 
> Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:26 PM
> To: 
> Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
>
>
> Hi Killian,
>>
>> Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
>> thoughts.
>> It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your
>> off
>> the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
>> enough.
>>
>> Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, you
>> watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it would
>> not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. It
>> has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your replacements
>> on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little vendettas
>> go.
>>
>> As one British correspondent emailed me
>>
>> "Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
>> mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
>> way...."
>>
>> It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.
>>
>> In response to the points you have raised.
>>
>> "BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>> 'text book'
>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.
>>
>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>> Duck."
>>
>> I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited to
>> just the odd Lesser Scaup.
>> Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found dozens
>> of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how
>> dark
>> their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note the
>> large variation in dates.
>>
>> It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
>> (when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
>> them.)
>> Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
>> showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
>> their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.
>>
>> The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a bluer
>> bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard to
>> find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have been
>> more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close
>> up
>> shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
>> bill edge.
>>
>> E.g. 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**93952528 

>>
>> "HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>> photos,
>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>> somewhat)."
>>
>> I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
>> watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both
>> after
>> a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
>> other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
>> However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
>> shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
>> co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.
>>
>> However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter
>> their
>> appearance significantly.
>>
>> This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
>> 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/**hermann_park_february_2007 

>>
>> Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a
>> duck
>> that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll
>> on
>> gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
>> pretty solidly tipped too.
>> Hybrid? Or not?
>>
>> I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds
>> head
>> feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think this
>> bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.
>>
>> "UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>> dark
>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>
>> I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem
>> for
>> Lesser Scaup.
>> To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
>> Scaup Juveniles.
>>
>> 1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.
>>
>> 2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes
>>
>> 3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks
>>
>> Just some random examples.
>>
>> 1 - 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**118774979 

>>
>> 2 - 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**134136573 

>>
>> 3 - 
http://www.pbase.com/image/**140010550 

>>
>> Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, when
>> most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
>> But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into
>> the
>> scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.
>>
>> Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
>> begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
>> parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature
>> well
>> into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March (unless
>> that was just when it was uploaded)
>> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/**revs45/4446084351/in/**photostream/ 

>>
>> Or this one in January 
http://www.pbase.com/argo1/**image/140760159 

>>
>> Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many birds
>> showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.
>>
>> Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I am
>> no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.
>>
>> Owen
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney > >wrote:
>>
>> Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions
>>> about
>>> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me
>>> about
>>> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>>> 'text book'
>>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the
>>> differing
>>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
>>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is
>>> wet.
>>>
>>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side
>>> of
>>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
>>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>>> Duck.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps
>>> especially
>>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
>>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a
>>> head
>>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
>>> photos,
>>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
>>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity,
>>> when
>>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
>>> somewhat).
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
>>> dark
>>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
>>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
>>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
>>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown
>>> by
>>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
>>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the
>>> North
>>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it
>>> was
>>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
>>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>>
>>>
>>> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
>>> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and
>>> the
>>> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
>>> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line
>>> between
>>> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that
>>> is
>>> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
>>> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
>>> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can
>>> be
>>> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
>>> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck,
>>> but
>>> I could well be missing something.
>>>
>>> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of
>>> this
>>> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> Killian
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey >> >wrote:
>>>
>>> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
>>> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more >
>>> like
>>> a
>>> > "tuft"?
>>> >
>>> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
>>> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
>>> Lesser
>>> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
>>> >
>>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/**nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-**
>>> 
allthosebirds/wherethecomments 
suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the 

>>> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>>> >
>>> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
>>> doing
>>> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
>>> > something.
>>> >
>>> > Mícheál
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>>> >
>>> > > Phil,
>>> > >
>>> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> http://www.birdforum.net/**attachment.php?attachmentid=**
>>> 
413372&d=1352366599 

>>> > >
>>> > > Owen
>>> > >
>>> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis 
>>> wrote:
>>> > >
>>> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds >
>>> >> show
>>> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye
>>> doesn’t
>>> > look
>>> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
>>> > >>
>>> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
>>> accepted
>>> > >> by birders as a LS?
>>> > >>
>>> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
>>> > >> LS3.jpg
>>> > >>
>>> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
>>> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>>> > >>
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> > > --
>>> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
>>> people
>>> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>>> > > - Douglas Adams
>>> > >
>>> > > 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
>> very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>> - Douglas Adams
>>
>> 
http://ie.movember.com/**mospace/1178304 

>>
>>
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 14:51:20 -0000
Well done Owen, a great summary of your arguments and I think probably the 
first time in birding history in Ireland that a top birder, despite the 
strengths of his arguments, has had the balls to admit they might be wrong. 
Good on you.

Phil (Owens Rottweiler) Davis

http://theartofphildavis.blogspot.com/
http://www.NewIrishArt.com/PhilDavis



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Owen Foley" 
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:26 PM
To: 
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup

> Hi Killian,
>
> Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
> thoughts.
> It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your 
> off
> the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
> enough.
>
> Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, you
> watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it would
> not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. It
> has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your replacements
> on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little vendettas
> go.
>
> As one British correspondent emailed me
>
> "Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
> mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
> way...."
>
> It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.
>
> In response to the points you have raised.
>
> "BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
> 'text book'
> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.
>
> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
> Duck."
>
> I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited to
> just the odd Lesser Scaup.
> Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found dozens
> of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how 
> dark
> their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note the
> large variation in dates.
>
> It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
> (when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
> them.)
> Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
> showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
> their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.
>
> The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a bluer
> bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard to
> find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have been
> more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close 
> up
> shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
> bill edge.
>
> E.g. http://www.pbase.com/image/93952528
>
> "HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of 
> photos,
> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers 
> somewhat)."
>
> I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
> watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both 
> after
> a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
> other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
> However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
> shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
> co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.
>
> However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter 
> their
> appearance significantly.
>
> This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
> http://www.pbase.com/mbb/hermann_park_february_2007
>
> Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a 
> duck
> that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll 
> on
> gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
> pretty solidly tipped too.
> Hybrid? Or not?
>
> I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds 
> head
> feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think this
> bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.
>
> "UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly 
> dark
> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
> accuracy of my field observations.
>
> I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem 
> for
> Lesser Scaup.
> To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
> Scaup Juveniles.
>
> 1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.
>
> 2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes
>
> 3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks
>
> Just some random examples.
>
> 1 - http://www.pbase.com/image/118774979
>
> 2 - http://www.pbase.com/image/134136573
>
> 3 - http://www.pbase.com/image/140010550
>
> Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, when
> most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
> But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into 
> the
> scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.
>
> Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
> begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
> parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature 
> well
> into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March (unless
> that was just when it was uploaded)
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/revs45/4446084351/in/photostream/
>
> Or this one in January  http://www.pbase.com/argo1/image/140760159
>
> Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many birds
> showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.
>
> Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I am
> no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.
>
> Owen
>
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney 
> wrote:
>
>> Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>>
>>
>>
>> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions 
>> about
>> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me 
>> about
>> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>>
>>
>>
>> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
>> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
>> 'text book'
>> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
>> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the 
>> differing
>> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
>> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
>> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
>> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
>> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is 
>> wet.
>>
>> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side 
>> of
>> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
>> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
>> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
>> Duck.
>>
>>
>>
>> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
>> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps 
>> especially
>> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
>> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
>> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
>> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a 
>> head
>> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of 
>> photos,
>> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
>> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, 
>> when
>> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers 
>> somewhat).
>>
>>
>>
>> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly 
>> dark
>> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
>> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
>> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
>> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
>> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
>> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
>> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown 
>> by
>> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
>> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
>> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the 
>> North
>> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
>> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
>> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it 
>> was
>> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
>> accuracy of my field observations.
>>
>>
>> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
>> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and 
>> the
>> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
>> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line 
>> between
>> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that 
>> is
>> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
>> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
>> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can 
>> be
>> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
>> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck, 
>> but
>> I could well be missing something.
>>
>> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of 
>> this
>> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Killian
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey > >wrote:
>>
>> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
>> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more 
>> > like
>> a
>> > "tuft"?
>> >
>> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
>> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
>> Lesser
>> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
>> >
>> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/wherethe 

>> comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the
>> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>> >
>> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
>> doing
>> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
>> > something.
>> >
>> > Mícheál
>> >
>> >
>> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>> >
>> > > Phil,
>> > >
>> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
>> > >
>> > >
>> http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
>> > >
>> > > Owen
>> > >
>> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
>> > >
>> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds 
>> > >> show
>> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t
>> > look
>> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
>> > >>
>> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
>> accepted
>> > >> by birders as a LS?
>> > >>
>> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
>> > >> LS3.jpg
>> > >>
>> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
>> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>> > >>
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > --
>> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
>> people
>> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
>> > > - Douglas Adams
>> > >
>> > > http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
>> >
>>
>
>
>
> -- 
> In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
> very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> - Douglas Adams
>
> http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
> 
Subject: Re: Irish invasion of SW Britain
From: "Collinson, Dr Jon M." <m.collinson AT ABDN.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 13:32:50 +0000
Lee and others might be interested in this... 
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/archive-details-12997.php shows that the 'new' 
Cornish Choughs appear to have come from Ireland. 


ATB
Martin

----------------------------------------------
J. Martin Collinson - m.collinson AT abdn.ac.uk

Reader in Biomedical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences
University of Aberdeen

Institute of Medical Sciences
Foresterhill
Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
UK

Tel:  +44 1224 437515
Fax:  +44 1224 437465
Mob:  +44 7899 065930

Aberdeen Clubfoot Consortium - Naked Scientist Interview.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/1784/

-----Original Message-----
From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of Lee G R 
Evans 

Sent: 15 November 2012 10:16
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Irish invasion of SW Britain

In addition to the large numbers of apparent IRISH COAL TITS that made it to 
the Isles of Scilly and West Cornwall, it now appears that an IRISH RED-BILLED 
CHOUGH may have immigrated and made landfall in the region. A Chough sadly died 
there at the beginning of November and DNA is being tested on the bird's 
feathers to see if it can be linked to the Irish population 


Also, just in case anybody has not purchased the following, Amazon are offering 
an exceptional deal on the large format Collins Bird Identification Guide at 
the moment - just £15 post free - a saving of £35 


Best wishes

Lee


The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: richard mundy <ruckrick AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:52:57 +0000
Hi Pete et al,

I'm sure Pete will agree with me that the bird at Timoleague is not a
female Garganey with a strangely-coloured bill as his post may have
inadvertent implied. I'm just posting this in case anyone is thinking of
coming to look at it, dont! It is the size and shape of a Mallard, it is
swimming with mallards and it is very tame indeed, most definitely 'coming
to bread'. I would not agree that other than its bill it looks like a
female Garganey, it looks to me like a mallard hybrid with a somewhat
Garganey-like head pattern and a grey bill.

Rick

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 5:46 PM, Peter Wolstenholme <
pwolstenholme AT eircom.net> wrote:

> Hi Mike,
> From the videos, the most noticeable difference from the tufted a, is that
> the bill is much deeper based, Infact deeper for its whole length. The
> tufted bills look dairy besides it.
> There is a funny duck on the duck pond at Timoleague , it looks like a
> cross between a mallard and a garganey. It has a large pale super' and a
> blue and black bill, otherwise looks like a female garganey.
> Ducks eh !
> Pete w.
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On 13 Nov 2012, at 22:03, Mike O'Keeffe  wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I have thrown up some HD video of this bird on Youtube.  Follow four
> links
> > below to four videos.  Hopefully this will generate some constructive
> > debate.
> >
> >
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSamePeWSj8&feature=autoplay&list=HL135284000
> > 7&playnext=1
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIMCxMEqqv0&feature=youtu.be
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz70OqJ3pTA&feature=youtu.be
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUDfPOfYNM&feature=youtu.be
> >
> > Incidentally the footage is taken using my new Digiscoping setup.  It's
> the
> > Canon S100 through a Swarovski Scope.  Delighted with the results so far
> and
> > highly recommend this kit for anyone thinking of changing their gear.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Mike
>
Subject: Re: Being nice
From: Séamus Feeney <sfeeney.drum AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:14:21 +0000
'love keeps no record of wrongs'. Who needs love, when you've got internet :)
Subject: Irish invasion of SW Britain
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 05:16:07 -0500
In addition to the large numbers of apparent IRISH COAL TITS that made it  
to the Isles of Scilly and West Cornwall, it now appears that an IRISH  
RED-BILLED CHOUGH may have immigrated and made landfall in the region. A Chough 

sadly died there at the beginning of November and DNA is being tested on 
the  bird's feathers to see if it can be linked to the Irish population
 
Also, just in case anybody has not purchased the following, Amazon are  
offering an exceptional deal on the large format Collins Bird Identification  
Guide at the moment - just £15 post free - a saving of £35
 
Best wishes
 
Lee
Subject: Re: Being nice
From: Colin Conroy <colintheconroy AT YAHOO.CO.UK>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 23:55:09 +0000
Dear all
Thanks for all the replies I have had to this, as well as references to it in 
other threads. However, I think I ought to say publicly that I was in no way 
referring to any post by Killian Mullarney when I talked about unreasoned, 
angry and insulting comments. In fact the email I had in mind when I referred 
to reasoned, measured arguments was one by Killian. 


Also I should clarify that I wasn't referring only to one person as being the 
perpetrator of the nastiness. In the time I have been part of this group I have 
read quite a lot of snide, sniping, and sometimes nasty comments by various 
people. I don't generally keep all the emails posted on this group so I am not 
going to make a list of the people I see as being guilty of nastiness. I 
believe that we should treat all our fellow humans with love, and 'love keeps 
no record of wrongs'. 


I believe love does keep a record of rights though, and I have to say that in 
all the dealings I have had with Killian, and the relatively few times I have 
met him, he (the world renowned, massively respected birder, author and artist) 
has been nothing but kind and respectful, to me (an unknown, not all that 
skilled or dazzling in any way, fairly low-listing, birder) - e.g. taking the 
time to help me with identification problems that to him were certainly not 
just basic but total beginner stuff . 


Bye for now
yours in peace and love

Colin





________________________________
 From: Colin Conroy 
To: Irish Bird Network  
Sent: Tuesday, 13 November 2012, 10:12
Subject: Being nice
 

Hi Everyone,
I know I'm not a regular contributor here, and I don't even live in Ireland any 
more so perhaps my opinion doesn't count, so please feel free to ignore this 
question. 

However, having said that, I think it needs to be asked.
Isn't it possible to have a conversation about birds, bird identification, 
vagrancy (and all the other things that come up here from time to time), 
without constant sniping, nastiness and 'replying to reasoned, measured 
arguments with unreasoned, angry and often personally insulting comments'? 


I've been on other groups where this is possible and happens without any great 
effort, and I don't really understand why it is not possible on this group. I 
know you are only a very small minority of posters here that  do this, but when 
you do, you make it an unpleasant place for the rest of us. I know this is 
going to sound incredibly twee and probably patronising, but if you try it, you 
will find that being nice does actually pay off, and can lead to pleasant 
discussions, even if in the end you don't come to an agreement. 


Bye for now,
love and peace, man!

Colin
Subject: Re: Fwd: Lesser Scaup
From: Eamonn O'Donnell <bobolink300 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 22:51:26 +0000
P.S. I wish that either someone would just shoot the bloody bird or it
would just go away so we can get back to the peace and quiet we had known
for so long.

Here's hoping.
Eamonn


On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM, Eamonn O'Donnell 
wrote: 


> Phil,
> There is now no doubt where the snide remarks are coming from.
> You've just gotta love quacks !
> Eamonn
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM, Owen Foley  wrote:
>
>> Hmm. I guess the reminder that your past "official decision" got the
>> heave-ho grated a bit.
>>
>> I don't need Google to spot a short memory at work. Remember what caused
>> such "intemperate behaviour"?
>>
>> In such scenarios someone must always be the bigger man. History, and this
>> post, have shown that isn't you.
>>
>> Owen
>> On Nov 14, 2012 8:28 PM, "Paul Archer"  wrote:
>>
>
>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Lesser Scaup
From: Eamonn O'Donnell <bobolink300 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 22:48:01 +0000
Phil,
There is now no doubt where the snide remarks are coming from.
You've just gotta love quacks !
Eamonn


On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM, Owen Foley  wrote:

> Hmm. I guess the reminder that your past "official decision" got the
> heave-ho grated a bit.
>
> I don't need Google to spot a short memory at work. Remember what caused
> such "intemperate behaviour"?
>
> In such scenarios someone must always be the bigger man. History, and this
> post, have shown that isn't you.
>
> Owen
> On Nov 14, 2012 8:28 PM, "Paul Archer"  wrote:
>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Lesser Scaup
From: Owen Foley <pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:45:18 +0000
Hmm. I guess the reminder that your past "official decision" got the
heave-ho grated a bit.

I don't need Google to spot a short memory at work. Remember what caused
such "intemperate behaviour"?

In such scenarios someone must always be the bigger man. History, and this
post, have shown that isn't you.

Owen
On Nov 14, 2012 8:28 PM, "Paul Archer"  wrote:
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:44:12 -0500
Thanks for your comments Paul....ironic it is
 
I for one would like to compliment Killian on providing all of us with a  
very thorough review of the Rostellan Aythya and for taking time out to write 
 such pertinent information when he clearly knew the type of response it 
was  likely to hasten. At least it whittled out of Mr Foley, the information 
that he  had gathered over recent weeks.....
 
What had not been apparent to me before Phil's postings was that this  
subject had already been aired under some spurious banner title on Irish 
Birdnet 

 and hence why I had missed the earlier discussions on the bird's id
 
Many thanks to those others that very kindly supplied such valuable  
resources in terms of additional images, videos, etc
 
I see that a first-winter drake LESSER SCAUP is still present in County  
Clare today - along with a Greater Scaup - at Lough Gash, Newmarket-in-Fergus 
-  also an AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT in County Down for a second day 
between Ballykinler and Tyrella Beach at Corbett's Beach. From Tyrella Beach 
car 

park,  walk west along the beach.
 
Best wishes
 
Lee Evans
 
 
Subject: Fwd: Lesser Scaup
From: Paul Archer <parcher AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:28:04 +0000
Owen,

You continue to entertain us all on IBN. Given your intemperate manner in
the past, its hard to credit that you are now asking someone on IBN to 'be
a little more cautious in how you treat people'. Maybe you should try Google
for a definition of IRONIC. Or perhaps this your latest attempt at comedy?

And as for "watch your wording" as your recommendation to anyone? I do hope
you're having a good night entertaining yourself with such
postings.......God help us all if anyone was to take advice from you.

You're a funny guy....




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Owen Foley 
Date: 14 November 2012 19:26
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
To: IBN-L AT listserv.heanet.ie


Hi Killian,

Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
thoughts.
It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your off
the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
enough.

Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, you
watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it would
not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. It
has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your replacements
on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little vendettas
go.

As one British correspondent emailed me

"Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
way...."

It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.

In response to the points you have raised.

"BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
*Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
'text book'
pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.

It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
Duck."

I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited to
just the odd Lesser Scaup.
Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found dozens
of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how dark
their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note the
large variation in dates.

It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
(when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
them.)
Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.

The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a bluer
bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard to
find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have been
more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close up
shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
bill edge.

E.g. http://www.pbase.com/image/93952528

"HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of photos,
however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers somewhat)."

I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both after
a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.

However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter their
appearance significantly.

This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/hermann_park_february_2007

Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a duck
that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll on
gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
pretty solidly tipped too.
Hybrid? Or not?

I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds head
feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think this
bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.

"UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly dark
upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
accuracy of my field observations.

I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem for
Lesser Scaup.
To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
Scaup Juveniles.

1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.

2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes

3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks

Just some random examples.

1 - http://www.pbase.com/image/118774979

2 - http://www.pbase.com/image/134136573

3 - http://www.pbase.com/image/140010550

Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, when
most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into the
scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.

Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature well
into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March (unless
that was just when it was uploaded)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/revs45/4446084351/in/photostream/

Or this one in January  http://www.pbase.com/argo1/image/140760159

Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many birds
showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.

Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I am
no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.

Owen

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney wrote:

> Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>
>
>
> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions about
> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me about
> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>
>
>
> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
> 'text book'
> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.
>
> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
> Duck.
>
>
>
> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of
photos,
> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers
somewhat).
>
>
>
> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly
dark
> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
> accuracy of my field observations.
>
>
> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and
the
> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line
between
> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that is
> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can
be
> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck, but
> I could well be missing something.
>
> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of this
> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>
> Regards,
>
> Killian
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey  >wrote:
>
> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more like
> a
> > "tuft"?
> >
> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
> Lesser
> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
> >
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/
wherethe comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the
> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
> >
> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
> doing
> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
> > something.
> >
> > Mícheál
> >
> >
> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
> >
> > > Phil,
> > >
> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
> > >
> > >
> http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
> > >
> > > Owen
> > >
> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t
> > look
> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
> > >>
> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
> accepted
> > >> by birders as a LS?
> > >>
> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
> > >> LS3.jpg
> > >>
> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
> people
> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> > > - Douglas Adams
> > >
> > > http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
> >
>



--
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- Douglas Adams

http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304



-- 
-------------------------------------------------
Paul Archer
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Owen Foley <pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:26:27 +0000
Hi Killian,

Firstly, let me say a genuine thank you for posting a summary of your
thoughts.
It is actually much appreciated, and in my opinion, a far cry from your off
the cuff suggestion that observers had not considered odd tufted duck
enough.

Might I suggest that in future if you wish to raise an ID discussion, you
watch your wording? In the spirit of that posted by Colin Conroy, it would
not hurt for you to be a little more cautious in how you treat people. It
has been 6 years since you tried to label me a stringer, your replacements
on the IRBC did a U-turn on you. It is time you let your little vendettas
go.

As one British correspondent emailed me

"Killian definitely still seems to have it in for you....re-reading his
mails on IBn, he's certainly being a little confrontational in his own
way...."

It would be foolish to try and play it off as anything else.

In response to the points you have raised.

"BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
*Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
'text book'
pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.

It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
Duck."

I would not actually agree that the "dipped in ink" pattern is limited to
just the odd Lesser Scaup.
Aside from the many links I posted on the Birdforum thread, I found dozens
of others and continue to do so, with incredible variation in just how dark
their bill tips are. With all of these shots, it is important to note the
large variation in dates.

It is actually quite difficult to find shots of ducks outside of winter
(when naturally people show the most interest in them and go looking for
them.)
Indeed there have been very few labelled as being taken in October, and
showing true juvenile plumage. Of the few I have found some are well on
their way to attaining greyer feathering, others not.

The variation in how soon the move from a solid slate grey bill to a bluer
bill with isolated nail varies with individual bird, but it is not hard to
find very well marked bills even into the new year, would these have been
more solidly marked again, earlier in the winter? In fact, on many close up
shots, you can still see remnants of black fading away right out to the
bill edge.

E.g. http://www.pbase.com/image/93952528

"HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of photos,
however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers somewhat)."

I must admit I am confused on the head shape of my own bird here. When
watching it I noticed a shaggy appearance only on two occasions, both after
a period of voracious diving and splashing. I honestly feel that at all
other times it did not seem so "Shaggy".
However I am not prepared to ignore both opinion from the states and the
shots which show this now, which I think would be an unfortunate
co-incidence if 2 photographers had captured this appearance by fluke.

However, I do think that, on any athya, they can become wet and alter their
appearance significantly.

This is an interesting case study worth a look I feel.
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/hermann_park_february_2007

Scroll down to the last pic of a drake RN Duck, and suddenly you see a duck
that surely cant be Lesser scaup with a square head, which as you scroll on
gets fairly shaggy, and then....there's that wing. The bill is
pretty solidly tipped too.
Hybrid? Or not?

I do not think I have ever come across a particular portion of a birds head
feathering "Taking off" in advance of another however. I do not think this
bird truly shows the same head shape as the tufted's present.

"UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly dark
upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the"
accuracy of my field observations.

I do not believe the presence of good contrast is necessarily a problem for
Lesser Scaup.
To me, the upperparts pattern seems to fall into 3 categories for Lesser
Scaup Juveniles.

1. Pretty Solid Dark Chocolate above.

2. Dark Chocolate with warmer Scapulars/Scapular fringes

3. Warm brown upper parts which appear uniform with the flanks

Just some random examples.

1 - http://www.pbase.com/image/118774979

2 - http://www.pbase.com/image/134136573

3 - http://www.pbase.com/image/140010550

Again, the majority of shots available are from later in the winter, when
most birds are moulting in grey on both the upper parts and flanks.
But on many birds, especially if you have very little grey moulted into the
scaps, you can see the dark chocolate ground colour there was present.

Again these are very variable, both in terms of when they have
begun/completed moult and in the rates with which the flanks and upper
parts moult relative to eachother. Some birds seem still very immature well
into the new year. This bird was supposedly photographed in March (unless
that was just when it was uploaded)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/revs45/4446084351/in/photostream/

Or this one in January  http://www.pbase.com/argo1/image/140760159

Again, for all points, I am just providing a few samples of the many birds
showing such features. There are plenty out there in the inter-ether.

Anyway. Having seen a variety of opinions from American commentators I am
no longer prepared to stand over the bird as a Lesser.

Owen

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney 
wrote: 


> Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>
>
>
> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions about
> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me about
> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>
>
>
> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
> 'text book'
> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.
>
> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
> Duck.
>
>
>
> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of photos,
> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers somewhat).
>
>
>
> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly dark
> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
> accuracy of my field observations.
>
>
> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and the
> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line between
> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that is
> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can be
> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck, but
> I could well be missing something.
>
> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of this
> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>
> Regards,
>
> Killian
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey  >wrote:
>
> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more like
> a
> > "tuft"?
> >
> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
> Lesser
> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
> >
> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/wherethe 
comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the 

> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
> >
> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
> doing
> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
> > something.
> >
> > Mícheál
> >
> >
> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
> >
> > > Phil,
> > >
> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
> > >
> > >
> http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
> > >
> > > Owen
> > >
> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t
> > look
> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
> > >>
> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
> accepted
> > >> by birders as a LS?
> > >>
> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
> > >> LS3.jpg
> > >>
> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
> people
> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> > > - Douglas Adams
> > >
> > > http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
> >
>



-- 
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- Douglas Adams

http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Peter Wolstenholme <pwolstenholme AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 17:46:25 +0000
Hi Mike,
From the videos, the most noticeable difference from the tufted a, is that the 
bill is much deeper based, Infact deeper for its whole length. The tufted bills 
look dairy besides it. 

There is a funny duck on the duck pond at Timoleague , it looks like a cross 
between a mallard and a garganey. It has a large pale super' and a blue and 
black bill, otherwise looks like a female garganey. 

Ducks eh ! 
Pete w.

Sent from my iPad

On 13 Nov 2012, at 22:03, Mike O'Keeffe  wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> I have thrown up some HD video of this bird on Youtube.  Follow four links
> below to four videos.  Hopefully this will generate some constructive
> debate.  
> 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSamePeWSj8&feature=autoplay&list=HL135284000
> 7&playnext=1 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIMCxMEqqv0&feature=youtu.be 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz70OqJ3pTA&feature=youtu.be 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUDfPOfYNM&feature=youtu.be 
> 
> Incidentally the footage is taken using my new Digiscoping setup.  It's the
> Canon S100 through a Swarovski Scope.  Delighted with the results so far and
> highly recommend this kit for anyone thinking of changing their gear.  
> 
> Regards
> 
> Mike
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Colin Conroy <colintheconroy AT YAHOO.CO.UK>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:50:16 +0000
Thanks Killian, for that very thorough discussion of Lesser Scaup ID. 
Colin




________________________________
 From: Killian Mullarney 
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE 
Sent: Wednesday, 14 November 2012, 9:20
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
 
Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.



Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions about
this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me about
it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.



BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
*Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
'text book'
pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.

It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
Duck.



HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of photos,
however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers somewhat).



UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly dark
upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
accuracy of my field observations.


So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and the
likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line between
the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that is
attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can be
observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck, but
I could well be missing something.

My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of this
bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.

Regards,

Killian


On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey 
wrote: 


> In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
> second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more like a
> "tuft"?
>
> Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
> similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure Lesser
> Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/where 
the comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the 

> caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>
> Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or doing
> it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
> something.
>
> Mícheál
>
>
> On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>
> > Phil,
> >
> > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
> >
> > http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
> >
> > Owen
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
> >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t
> look
> >> exactly “bright” to me.
> >>
> >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally accepted
> >> by birders as a LS?
> >>
> >> LesserScaup7.jpg
> >> LS3.jpg
> >>
> >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
> >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
> > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> > - Douglas Adams
> >
> > http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
>
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Mark Carmody <dr.carmo AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:37:24 +0000
The photographs by Jim Wilson referred to in Killian's post below can be
found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilsonjim/

Best Regards,

Mark


On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Killian Mullarney 
wrote: 


> Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.
>
>
>
> Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions about
> this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me about
> it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.
>
>
>
> BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
> *Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
> 'text book'
> pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
> variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
> rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
> added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
> exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
> light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
> subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.
>
> It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
> the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
> 'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
> be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
> Duck.
>
>
>
> HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
> peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
> young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
> pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
> Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
> 'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
> shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of photos,
> however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
> expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
> all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers somewhat).
>
>
>
> UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly dark
> upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
> lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
> difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
> the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
> their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
> either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
> much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
> the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
> quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
> have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
> Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
> had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
> quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
> never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
> accuracy of my field observations.
>
>
> So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
> Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and the
> likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
> crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line between
> the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that is
> attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
> for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
> indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can be
> observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
> bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck, but
> I could well be missing something.
>
> My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of this
> bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.
>
> Regards,
>
> Killian
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey  >wrote:
>
> > In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
> > second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more like
> a
> > "tuft"?
> >
> > Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
> > similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure
> Lesser
> > Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
> >
> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/wherethe 
comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the 

> > caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
> >
> > Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or
> doing
> > it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
> > something.
> >
> > Mícheál
> >
> >
> > On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
> >
> > > Phil,
> > >
> > > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
> > >
> > >
> http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
> > >
> > > Owen
> > >
> > > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
> > >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t
> > look
> > >> exactly “bright” to me.
> > >>
> > >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally
> accepted
> > >> by birders as a LS?
> > >>
> > >> LesserScaup7.jpg
> > >> LS3.jpg
> > >>
> > >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
> > >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
> people
> > > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> > > - Douglas Adams
> > >
> > > http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
> >
>



-- 
*Mobile*:         087-9739178
*Websites*:     www.markcarmodyphotography.com and
http://flickr.com/photos/drcarmo/
*Publications:* *Shorebirds of Ireland *with Jim Wilson (

http://www.collinspress.ie/shorebirds-of-ireland.html 

)
                    *Freshwater birds of Ireland *with Jim Wilson

(h 


ttp://www.collinspress.ie/freshwater-birds-of-ireland.html 

)
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Killian Mullarney <ktmullarney AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 09:20:09 +0000
Thanks Mike for the very helpful video-clips of the Rostellan *Aythya*.



Being one of a number of people who, independently, raised questions about
this bird's identity I'd like to offer a summary of what concerns me about
it being recorded as a Lesser Scaup.



BILL PATTERN: Bill patterns of female (especially juvenile female)
*Aythya*ducks often do not conform to what might be considered the
'text book'
pattern. To a certain extent this can be attributed to individual
variation, a large part of which at any given time is due to the differing
rates at which individual birds develop an adult-type bill pattern. An
added complication is that it can be extremely difficult to determine
exactly what pattern (if any) there is on darker-billed birds, where the
light striking the complex contours of the bill can obscure or obliterate
subtle shades of lighter and darker grey, especially when the bill is wet.

It is not unusual for first-year Lesser Scaups to show dark either side of
the dark nail to give a more fan-shaped dark tip. The almost
'dipped-in-ink' dark bill tip exhibited by the Rostellan bird may perhaps
be matched by the odd Lesser Scaup, but it is much more usual in Tufted
Duck.



HEAD SHAPE: While the 'classic' head shape of Lesser Scaup (with a high
peak at the rear) is very characteristic, Tufted Ducks, perhaps especially
young birds with still undeveloped but growing 'tufts' can present a real
pitfall for the unwary. At the risk of over analysing the photos of the
Rostellan bird, it looks to me as if the feathers of the rear crown have
'taken off' in advance of those of the forecrown, thereby producing a head
shape that at times is very reminiscent of Lesser Scaup. A range of photos,
however, indicate that at other times it is much less convincing than I'd
expect in a true Lesser Scaup (and not just prior to diving activity, when
all diving ducks have a tendency to flatten their crown feathers somewhat).



UPPERPARTS & FLANKS: I think the strong contrast between the uniformly dark
upperparts, which show* no trace of lighter vermiculation*, and the much
lighter flank panel is the most striking feature of this bird that is
difficult to reconcile with Lesser Scaup. Of course, the vermiculation of
the upperparts feathers that gives adult female Lesser and Greater Scaups
their characteristic greyish-bodied look is not shown by juveniles of
either species, but Lessers (especially) in juvenile plumage tend to have
much less contrast between the flank and the upperparts than that shown by
the Rostellan bird; such contrast is often seen in Tufted Duck. I would
quite like to be proven wrong on this last point, since in recent years I
have become concerned that a female 'Lesser Scaup' I observed on the North
Slob, Wexford in January 1998 (which my coloured field-sketches indicate
had what I now regard as a more Tufted Duck-like flank) may not have had
quite as good credentials as we believed at the time! Unfortunately it was
never close enough to photograph, so I have no means of verifying the
accuracy of my field observations.


So, if the Rostellan bird is not a Lesser Scaup, is it a hybrid? Perhaps.
Given the relative frequency with which hybrid *Aytha* ducks occur, and the
likelihood that many less obvious second and subsequent generation back
crosses may go unnoticed, it is very difficult to draw a clear line between
the limit of variation in pure Tufted Duck, and unusual appearance that is
attributable to some degree of hybrid influence. In order to make a case
for the Rostellan duck being a hybrid there would need to be some firm
indication of a trait that falls outside the range of variation that can be
observed in (presumed) pure Tufted Ducks. I don’t see anything about this
bird that I would consider outside the variation I see in Tufted Duck, but
I could well be missing something.

My thanks to all the photographers who made available their photos of this
bird, especially Mike O' Keeffe and Jim Wilson.

Regards,

Killian


On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM, Mícheál Casey wrote:

> In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's
> second, third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more like a
> "tuft"?
>
> Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a
> similar bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure Lesser
> Scaup?  I assume that photo was taken from
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/where 
the comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the 

> caption from Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup.
>
> Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or doing
> it down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning
> something.
>
> Mícheál
>
>
> On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:
>
> > Phil,
> >
> > I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
> >
> > http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
> >
> > Owen
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
> >> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t
> look
> >> exactly “bright” to me.
> >>
> >> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally accepted
> >> by birders as a LS?
> >>
> >> LesserScaup7.jpg
> >> LS3.jpg
> >>
> >> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
> >> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
> > very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> > - Douglas Adams
> >
> > http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
>
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Mícheál Casey <michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 00:29:25 +0000
In the photo of the Rostellan bird linked below, and in Mike O'Keefe's second, 
third, and fourth video clips, doesn't the "peak" look more like a "tuft"? 


Interestingly the bottom left bird in the photo linked below also has a similar 
bill pattern to the Rostellan bird - is it definitely a pure Lesser Scaup? I 
assume that photo was taken from 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3313309578/in/pool-allthosebirds/ where 
the comments suggest that the poster has revised the ID in the caption from 
Greater Scaup to Lesser Scaup. 


Just my tuppence worth - I have no interest in boosting this bird or doing it 
down, and am only following this thread in the hope of learning something. 


Mícheál


On 13 Nov 2012, at 09:50, Owen Foley wrote:

> Phil,
> 
> I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.
> 
> http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599
> 
> Owen
> 
> On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:
> 
>> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
>> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t look
>> exactly “bright” to me.
>> 
>> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally accepted
>> by birders as a LS?
>> 
>> LesserScaup7.jpg
>> LS3.jpg
>> 
>> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
>> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
> very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
> - Douglas Adams
> 
> http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Peter Phillips <pmphillips AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 23:27:10 +0000
Just a few comments on the videos and shots of the bird. 

On the second video Mike linked the bird looks at least as big as the
biggest female tufties. I cant see any plumage difference between the bird
in question and another couple of first winter type female Tufted Ducks in
the same shot, except for the extensive white blaze over the bill (which can
be shown by a small number female Tufted Duck). The flanks look very TD like
and one the other female Tufted Ducks has a very similar head shape.

Sean Cronins shot: I think the crest feathers (which might be still growng)
are slightly too long for  Lesser Scaup ( at least any images I can find on
the internet).

I have been looking for one of these among the Tufted Duck at the zoo for
the last few years with no luck !

Regards

Peter
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 22:26:04 -0000
Superb footage Mike, interesting ,in the first one, to see it near the Tufty 
with the big white blaze, I got diverted initially, but the head shape is 
quite different. The flanks seem much paler and more vermiculated than the 
equivalent Tuftys,(not sure if this matters) which is something I remember 
from a LS that I saw years ago, cant remember where, possibly Waterford 
somewhere, remember JC, Dave Breathnach, DOS, Alec and myself were together, 
maybe they remember it? Still no wiser though.

Phil.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mike O'Keeffe
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:03 PM
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup

Hi,

I have thrown up some HD video of this bird on Youtube.  Follow four links
below to four videos.  Hopefully this will generate some constructive
debate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSamePeWSj8&feature=autoplay&list=HL135284000
7&playnext=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIMCxMEqqv0&feature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz70OqJ3pTA&feature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUDfPOfYNM&feature=youtu.be

Incidentally the footage is taken using my new Digiscoping setup.  It's the
Canon S100 through a Swarovski Scope.  Delighted with the results so far and
highly recommend this kit for anyone thinking of changing their gear.

Regards

Mike 
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Mike O'Keeffe <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 22:03:12 -0000
Hi,

I have thrown up some HD video of this bird on Youtube.  Follow four links
below to four videos.  Hopefully this will generate some constructive
debate.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSamePeWSj8&feature=autoplay&list=HL135284000
7&playnext=1 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIMCxMEqqv0&feature=youtu.be 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz70OqJ3pTA&feature=youtu.be 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUDfPOfYNM&feature=youtu.be 

Incidentally the footage is taken using my new Digiscoping setup.  It's the
Canon S100 through a Swarovski Scope.  Delighted with the results so far and
highly recommend this kit for anyone thinking of changing their gear.  

Regards

Mike
Subject: Re: Being nice
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 11:58:35 -0000
Yea ...you appear with a snide remark!!!!!
Peas Man \/
http://theartofphildavis.blogspot.com/
http://www.NewIrishArt.com/PhilDavis



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Eamonn O'Donnell" 
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:18 AM
To: 
Subject: Re: Being nice

> I do hope you can see the common factor when it does turn nasty ??!!
>
> Love and Peas indeed!
> Eamonn
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM, Colin Conroy
> wrote:
>
>> Hi Everyone,
>> I know I'm not a regular contributor here, and I don't even live in
>> Ireland any more so perhaps my opinion doesn't count, so please feel free
>> to ignore this question.
>> However, having said that, I think it needs to be asked.
>> Isn't it possible to have a conversation about birds, bird 
>> identification,
>> vagrancy (and all the other things that come up here from time to time),
>> without constant sniping, nastiness and 'replying to reasoned, measured
>> arguments with unreasoned, angry and often personally insulting 
>> comments'?
>>
>> I've been on other groups where this is possible and happens without any
>> great effort, and I don't really understand why it is not possible on 
>> this
>> group. I know you are only a very small minority of posters here that  do
>> this, but when you do, you make it an unpleasant place for the rest of 
>> us.
>> I know this is going to sound incredibly twee and probably patronising, 
>> but
>> if you try it, you will find that being nice does actually pay off, and 
>> can
>> lead to pleasant discussions, even if in the end you don't come to an
>> agreement.
>>
>> Bye for now,
>> love and peace, man!
>>
>> Colin
>>
>>
> 
Subject: Re: Being nice
From: Eamonn O'Donnell <bobolink300 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:18:11 +0000
I do hope you can see the common factor when it does turn nasty ??!!

Love and Peas indeed!
Eamonn


On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM, Colin Conroy
wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I know I'm not a regular contributor here, and I don't even live in
> Ireland any more so perhaps my opinion doesn't count, so please feel free
> to ignore this question.
> However, having said that, I think it needs to be asked.
> Isn't it possible to have a conversation about birds, bird identification,
> vagrancy (and all the other things that come up here from time to time),
> without constant sniping, nastiness and 'replying to reasoned, measured
> arguments with unreasoned, angry and often personally insulting comments'?
>
> I've been on other groups where this is possible and happens without any
> great effort, and I don't really understand why it is not possible on this
> group. I know you are only a very small minority of posters here that  do
> this, but when you do, you make it an unpleasant place for the rest of us.
> I know this is going to sound incredibly twee and probably patronising, but
> if you try it, you will find that being nice does actually pay off, and can
> lead to pleasant discussions, even if in the end you don't come to an
> agreement.
>
> Bye for now,
> love and peace, man!
>
> Colin
>
>
Subject: Being nice
From: Colin Conroy <colintheconroy AT YAHOO.CO.UK>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:12:53 +0000
Hi Everyone,
I know I'm not a regular contributor here, and I don't even live in Ireland any 
more so perhaps my opinion doesn't count, so please feel free to ignore this 
question. 

However, having said that, I think it needs to be asked.
Isn't it possible to have a conversation about birds, bird identification, 
vagrancy (and all the other things that come up here from time to time), 
without constant sniping, nastiness and 'replying to reasoned, measured 
arguments with unreasoned, angry and often personally insulting comments'? 


I've been on other groups where this is possible and happens without any great 
effort, and I don't really understand why it is not possible on this group. I 
know you are only a very small minority of posters here that  do this, but when 
you do, you make it an unpleasant place for the rest of us. I know this is 
going to sound incredibly twee and probably patronising, but if you try it, you 
will find that being nice does actually pay off, and can lead to pleasant 
discussions, even if in the end you don't come to an agreement. 


Bye for now,
love and peace, man!

Colin

Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Owen Foley <pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 09:50:43 +0000
Phil,

I have no idea what Lee is on with regards to the eye.

http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599

Owen

On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:

> Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show
> this, also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t look
> exactly “bright” to me.
>
> You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally accepted
> by birders as a LS?
>
> LesserScaup7.jpg
> LS3.jpg
>
> These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
> Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
>



-- 
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- Douglas Adams

http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
Subject: Re: Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 09:24:05 -0000
Sorry, forgot IBN wont take attachments

-----Original Message----- 
From: Phil Davis
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:10 AM
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Lesser Scaup

Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show this, 
also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t look exactly 
“bright” to me.

You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally accepted by 
birders as a LS?

LesserScaup7.jpg
LS3.jpg

These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/ 
Subject: Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 09:10:25 -0000
Hi Lee, I see what you mean by darker head, but don’t both birds show this, 
also , I know light has a lot to do with it but the eye doesn’t look exactly 
“bright” to me. 


You have been sent 2 pictures. Is the LS on Fair Isle generally accepted by 
birders as a LS? 


LesserScaup7.jpg
LS3.jpg

These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
Subject: ''LESSER SCAUP'' on Fair Isle in October 2011
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:39:48 -0500
This is the female 'scaup' I referred to in my earlier post - click here  -:
 
_http://fibowarden.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/first-for-fair-isle.html_ 
(http://fibowarden.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/first-for-fair-isle.html) 
 
Now this was another controversial individual at the time but I see that a  
year on, BBRC have accepted it as ''an adult female LESSER SCAUP (British 
Birds  105: 560)''
 
At the time of this occurrence, I widely circulated the images and the  
overwhelming response was that it was a juvenile GREATER SCAUP, despite the  
patterning of the outer half of the wing. As it transpired, they trapped the  
bird, and on biometrics, everything suggested LESSER SCAUP
 
Ducks, don't you just love them !
 
Good Birding Always
 
Lee Evans
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Eamonn O'Donnell <bobolink300 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 23:20:33 +0000
In the big scheme of things who cares. If it looks like a duck and quacks
like a duck it is probably a duck. Although, a sensible, constructive
response from the finder would be nice.
Eamonn


On Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM, Phil Davis  wrote:

> Lads, lads, please don't start World War 3 over this! I am genuinely
> interested in the id of this bird, I did not see it myself, unfortunately
> but I have seen the photos and have been trawling the net and text books
> for the last week to try to satisfy myself, unfortunately I do not feel
> qualified, however I cannot see why it is not a L Scaup. Lee, you mention
> the colour being wrong, what colour should it be? Looking at innumerable
> photos it looks right, or is it a sublety I am missing?
> Phil
>
> -----Original Message----- From: Owen Foley
> Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 10:12 PM
> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE ,
>
> Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
>
> "As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without
> my knowledge."
>
> Might wanna watch that there Mike. Maybe you should have twitched it under
> the cover of darkness. I mean you wouldn't have been seen at all, and in
> fairness, it wouldn't have affected your contribution here.
>
> Owen
> On Nov 12, 2012 10:04 PM, "Mike O'Keeffe"  wrote:
>
>  Owen,
>>
>> As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without
>> my
>> knowledge.  Unfortunately despite watching the bird at close range for 2
>> hours I never got the upper or under wing pattern so I never reached a
>> conclusion on the bird.  I tried for the bird again this weekend but no
>> joy.
>>
>>
>> It's difficult for anyone to offer a definitive opinion in the absence of
>> good photos of the wing. Only someone truly familiar with the species in
>> all
>> of its variation is properly qualified to say if all the subtleties of
>> structure, plumage and bare parts pattern are good enough for acceptance
>> as
>> a pure Lesser Scaup or if it falls short.  I see Lee has requested advice
>> from North American experts on the  ID Frontiers listserve so I'll happily
>> sit back and watch that discussion unfold.
>>
>> Mike
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Irish Bird Network 
[mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.**IE] 

>> On Behalf Of
>> Lee
>> G R Evans
>> Sent: 12 November 2012 20:46
>> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
>> Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
>>
>> In a message dated 12/11/2012 20:38:08 GMT Standard Time,
>> pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM writes:
>>
>> Really  lee?
>>
>> The hybrid theory is the best you can do?
>>
>> Well I guess  that's moving in the right direction at least.
>> Not quite sure of your points here Owen. Until Phil mentioned the bird, I
>> had not been aware of any problems with it and had not chased up any
>> images
>> -  Lesser Scaups of course being a regular and almost constant feature of
>> an
>> Irish  winter. After his post this afternoon, I then did a google search
>> and
>> came up  with two websites offering images of said bird. It didn't look
>> that
>> great to me  so I solicited further and wider interest, and sent the
>> reference material to my  wildfowl consultant Keith Vinicombe. If you
>> would
>> like, I can reproduce an  assortment of responses, some from North America
>> agreeing it is a hybrid.
>>
>> If you have further insight to this conundrum, then perhaps you would be
>> kind enough to enlighten Phil and the rest of us with YOUR answers, as it
>> appears you have the answers.
>>
>> Looking forward to your appraisal
>>
>> Lee
>>
>>
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:18:27 -0500
In a message dated 12/11/2012 22:57:02 GMT Standard Time, phildavis AT IOL.IE  
writes:

Lee, you  mention 
the colour being wrong, what colour should it be? Looking at  innumerable 
photos it looks right, or is it a sublety I am  missing?
Phil
 
I have obviously not seen the bird so can only judge from the four images I 
 have seen, so these could certainly be misleading, as OF  
professes.........
 
However, female Lesser Scaups that I have seen, both first-winter and  
adult, are very dark headed, the frontal section of the bird generally  
contrasting with the rest of the body. For some reason, I see quite a lot of  
paleness with this bird. Also, the eye seems surprisingly bright for a  
first-year, rather Tufted Duck-like in brightness. I personally feel that the 
black 

flanging on the bill is too excessive, although accept that juveniles  
moulting into first-winter do tend to go through such a period of flanging  
(confirmed by KEV from photographs and referenced by further images on the 
web). 

Lesser Scaups are rather rangy, with longer, thinner necks, whilst this bird 
to  me speaks Tufted Duck in shape and stance (again, this could be due to 
the  images misconstruing the true appearance).
 
A nice shot of the upperwing would probably silence critics as Lesser  
Scaup-lookalikes always show a rather Tufted Duck-like wingbar and give the 
game 

 away. Frustratingly, I don't believe any images exist.
 
As Mike O'Keefe intimated, I placed a link to Graham's images and website  
on Frontiers and several North American commentators felt that the bird 
showed  somewhat anomalous features for a juvenile female Lesser Scaup. I am 
awaiting a  wider response so that I can be more representative.
 
This is not a new dilemma. There have been a number of putative Lesser  
Scaup occurrences in Britain in recent years and quite a few of them are  
controversial. I should like to take minds back to a juvenile Lesser Scaup-type 

on Fair Isle last autumn, photographed at point blank range on a small pool. 
 That was widely touted as a Lesser Scaup and I believe was accepted as 
such. But  this was another highly controversial bird - many 'experts' 
considered it a Greater Scaup and others a hybrid - pictures should be 
available on 

the Fair  Isle blog for last year.
 
All the very best
 
Lee Evans
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 22:56:54 -0000
Lads, lads, please don't start World War 3 over this! I am genuinely 
interested in the id of this bird, I did not see it myself, unfortunately 
but I have seen the photos and have been trawling the net and text books for 
the last week to try to satisfy myself, unfortunately I do not feel 
qualified, however I cannot see why it is not a L Scaup. Lee, you mention 
the colour being wrong, what colour should it be? Looking at innumerable 
photos it looks right, or is it a sublety I am missing?
Phil

-----Original Message----- 
From: Owen Foley
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 10:12 PM
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE ,
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup

"As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without
my knowledge."

Might wanna watch that there Mike. Maybe you should have twitched it under
the cover of darkness. I mean you wouldn't have been seen at all, and in
fairness, it wouldn't have affected your contribution here.

Owen
On Nov 12, 2012 10:04 PM, "Mike O'Keeffe"  wrote:

> Owen,
>
> As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without
> my
> knowledge.  Unfortunately despite watching the bird at close range for 2
> hours I never got the upper or under wing pattern so I never reached a
> conclusion on the bird.  I tried for the bird again this weekend but no
> joy.
>
>
> It's difficult for anyone to offer a definitive opinion in the absence of
> good photos of the wing. Only someone truly familiar with the species in
> all
> of its variation is properly qualified to say if all the subtleties of
> structure, plumage and bare parts pattern are good enough for acceptance 
> as
> a pure Lesser Scaup or if it falls short.  I see Lee has requested advice
> from North American experts on the  ID Frontiers listserve so I'll happily
> sit back and watch that discussion unfold.
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
> Lee
> G R Evans
> Sent: 12 November 2012 20:46
> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
> Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
>
> In a message dated 12/11/2012 20:38:08 GMT Standard Time,
> pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM writes:
>
> Really  lee?
>
> The hybrid theory is the best you can do?
>
> Well I guess  that's moving in the right direction at least.
> Not quite sure of your points here Owen. Until Phil mentioned the bird, I
> had not been aware of any problems with it and had not chased up any 
> images
> -  Lesser Scaups of course being a regular and almost constant feature of
> an
> Irish  winter. After his post this afternoon, I then did a google search
> and
> came up  with two websites offering images of said bird. It didn't look
> that
> great to me  so I solicited further and wider interest, and sent the
> reference material to my  wildfowl consultant Keith Vinicombe. If you 
> would
> like, I can reproduce an  assortment of responses, some from North America
> agreeing it is a hybrid.
>
> If you have further insight to this conundrum, then perhaps you would be
> kind enough to enlighten Phil and the rest of us with YOUR answers, as it
> appears you have the answers.
>
> Looking forward to your appraisal
>
> Lee
> 
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Owen Foley <pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 22:12:54 +0000
"As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without
my knowledge."

Might wanna watch that there Mike. Maybe you should have twitched it under
the cover of darkness. I mean you wouldn't have been seen at all, and in
fairness, it wouldn't have affected your contribution here.

Owen
On Nov 12, 2012 10:04 PM, "Mike O'Keeffe"  wrote:

> Owen,
>
> As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without
> my
> knowledge.  Unfortunately despite watching the bird at close range for 2
> hours I never got the upper or under wing pattern so I never reached a
> conclusion on the bird.  I tried for the bird again this weekend but no
> joy.
>
>
> It's difficult for anyone to offer a definitive opinion in the absence of
> good photos of the wing. Only someone truly familiar with the species in
> all
> of its variation is properly qualified to say if all the subtleties of
> structure, plumage and bare parts pattern are good enough for acceptance as
> a pure Lesser Scaup or if it falls short.  I see Lee has requested advice
> from North American experts on the  ID Frontiers listserve so I'll happily
> sit back and watch that discussion unfold.
>
> Mike
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
> Lee
> G R Evans
> Sent: 12 November 2012 20:46
> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
> Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
>
> In a message dated 12/11/2012 20:38:08 GMT Standard Time,
> pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM writes:
>
> Really  lee?
>
> The hybrid theory is the best you can do?
>
> Well I guess  that's moving in the right direction at least.
> Not quite sure of your points here Owen. Until Phil mentioned the bird, I
> had not been aware of any problems with it and had not chased up any images
> -  Lesser Scaups of course being a regular and almost constant feature of
> an
> Irish  winter. After his post this afternoon, I then did a google search
> and
> came up  with two websites offering images of said bird. It didn't look
> that
> great to me  so I solicited further and wider interest, and sent the
> reference material to my  wildfowl consultant Keith Vinicombe. If you would
> like, I can reproduce an  assortment of responses, some from North America
> agreeing it is a hybrid.
>
> If you have further insight to this conundrum, then perhaps you would be
> kind enough to enlighten Phil and the rest of us with YOUR answers, as it
> appears you have the answers.
>
> Looking forward to your appraisal
>
> Lee
>
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Mike O'Keeffe <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 22:03:43 -0000
Owen,

As you now know my name was pinned to the twitter post on Nov 4th without my
knowledge.  Unfortunately despite watching the bird at close range for 2
hours I never got the upper or under wing pattern so I never reached a
conclusion on the bird.  I tried for the bird again this weekend but no joy.


It's difficult for anyone to offer a definitive opinion in the absence of
good photos of the wing. Only someone truly familiar with the species in all
of its variation is properly qualified to say if all the subtleties of
structure, plumage and bare parts pattern are good enough for acceptance as
a pure Lesser Scaup or if it falls short.  I see Lee has requested advice
from North American experts on the  ID Frontiers listserve so I'll happily
sit back and watch that discussion unfold.

Mike




-----Original Message-----
From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of Lee
G R Evans
Sent: 12 November 2012 20:46
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup

In a message dated 12/11/2012 20:38:08 GMT Standard Time,
pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM writes:

Really  lee?

The hybrid theory is the best you can do?

Well I guess  that's moving in the right direction at least.
Not quite sure of your points here Owen. Until Phil mentioned the bird, I
had not been aware of any problems with it and had not chased up any images
-  Lesser Scaups of course being a regular and almost constant feature of an
Irish  winter. After his post this afternoon, I then did a google search and
came up  with two websites offering images of said bird. It didn't look that
great to me  so I solicited further and wider interest, and sent the
reference material to my  wildfowl consultant Keith Vinicombe. If you would
like, I can reproduce an  assortment of responses, some from North America
agreeing it is a hybrid.
 
If you have further insight to this conundrum, then perhaps you would be
kind enough to enlighten Phil and the rest of us with YOUR answers, as it
appears you have the answers.
 
Looking forward to your appraisal
 
Lee
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 15:46:03 -0500
In a message dated 12/11/2012 20:38:08 GMT Standard Time,  
pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM writes:

Really  lee?

The hybrid theory is the best you can do?

Well I guess  that's moving in the right direction at least.
Not quite sure of your points here Owen. Until Phil mentioned the bird, I  
had not been aware of any problems with it and had not chased up any images 
-  Lesser Scaups of course being a regular and almost constant feature of an 
Irish  winter. After his post this afternoon, I then did a google search 
and came up  with two websites offering images of said bird. It didn't look 
that great to me  so I solicited further and wider interest, and sent the 
reference material to my  wildfowl consultant Keith Vinicombe. If you would 
like, I can reproduce an  assortment of responses, some from North America 
agreeing it is a hybrid.
 
If you have further insight to this conundrum, then perhaps you would be  
kind enough to enlighten Phil and the rest of us with YOUR answers, as it  
appears you have the answers.
 
Looking forward to your appraisal
 
Lee
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Owen Foley <pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 20:37:41 +0000
Really lee?

The hybrid theory is the best you can do?

Well I guess that's moving in the right direction at least.

Owen
On Nov 12, 2012 5:53 PM, "Lee G R Evans"  wrote:

> Phil
>
> Just did a quick google search and came up with a few shots of the bird
> taken by Sean Cronin and Graham Clarke, none showing the wing pattern
> unfortunately. Certainly an oddball but it seems most likely a hybrid -
> bill
> pattern, head shape and general body colouration seemingly suggesting
> that. It
> seems similar to a very well photographed and confiding female that was
> present  in South Yorkshire recently - that bird touted as a Lesser Scaup
> by
> Martin  Garner and others for a while. That was considered to be a Tufted
> Duck
> with an  abnormally extensive creamy-white blaze
>
> There seems to be a myriad of lookalike Lesser Scaups around and one
> wonders how many are actually genuine birds rather than hybrids - and
> where do
> you draw the line on hybrids - first generation, second generation and so
>  on.
>
> Best wishes
>
> Lee
>
>
>
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 12:53:28 -0500
Phil
 
Just did a quick google search and came up with a few shots of the bird  
taken by Sean Cronin and Graham Clarke, none showing the wing pattern  
unfortunately. Certainly an oddball but it seems most likely a hybrid - bill  
pattern, head shape and general body colouration seemingly suggesting that. It 

seems similar to a very well photographed and confiding female that was 
present  in South Yorkshire recently - that bird touted as a Lesser Scaup by 
Martin  Garner and others for a while. That was considered to be a Tufted Duck 
with an  abnormally extensive creamy-white blaze
 
There seems to be a myriad of lookalike Lesser Scaups around and one  
wonders how many are actually genuine birds rather than hybrids - and where do 

you draw the line on hybrids - first generation, second generation and so  on.
 
Best wishes
 
Lee
 
 
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 17:31:51 -0000
Sorry gang.. should have said upperwing
Phil
http://theartofphildavis.blogspot.com/
http://www.NewIrishArt.com/PhilDavis



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Phil Davis" 
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 5:02 PM
To: 
Subject: Rostellan Lesser Scaup

> Hi all, I am surprised at the lack of discussion about this bird, given 
> the stature of some of the birders who observed it and apparently were 
> happy to accept it as a Lesser Scaup. I have only seen a couple of LS in 
> my lifetime so am certainly no expert , but I did think that the underwing 
> was diagnostic. I admit I thought the bill had too much black but having 
> looked at the many links that Owen posted I see that this is by no means 
> unusual. The head shape looks ok too me and I have only once, as memory 
> serves, seen a Tufty with so much white round the bill. I have nothing to 
> gain whether this bird is a hybrid or a pure LS, but I would love to hear 
> why it is one or the other, and what are the feelings of the guys who saw 
> it....or is this another mass hallucination?
> Phil.
> 
Subject: Re: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 12:22:38 -0500
Phil
 
Any links to any images at all......
 
Best wishes
 
Lee
 
 
In a message dated 12/11/2012 17:02:33 GMT Standard Time, phildavis AT IOL.IE  
writes:

Hi all,  I am surprised at the lack of discussion about this bird, given 
the stature of  some of the birders who observed it and apparently were happy 
to accept it as  a Lesser Scaup. I have only seen a couple of LS in my 
lifetime so am certainly  no expert , but I did think that the underwing was 
diagnostic. I admit I thought the bill had too much black but having looked at 

the many links that  Owen posted I see that this is by no means unusual. The 
head shape looks ok  too me and I have only once, as memory serves, seen a 
Tufty with so much white  round the bill. I have nothing to gain whether 
this bird is a hybrid or a pure  LS, but I would love to hear why it is one or 
the other, and what are the  feelings of the guys who saw it....or is this 
another mass hallucination?  
Phil.
Subject: Rostellan Lesser Scaup
From: Phil Davis <phildavis AT IOL.IE>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 17:02:17 -0000
Hi all, I am surprised at the lack of discussion about this bird, given the 
stature of some of the birders who observed it and apparently were happy to 
accept it as a Lesser Scaup. I have only seen a couple of LS in my lifetime so 
am certainly no expert , but I did think that the underwing was diagnostic. I 
admit I thought the bill had too much black but having looked at the many links 
that Owen posted I see that this is by no means unusual. The head shape looks 
ok too me and I have only once, as memory serves, seen a Tufty with so much 
white round the bill. I have nothing to gain whether this bird is a hybrid or a 
pure LS, but I would love to hear why it is one or the other, and what are the 
feelings of the guys who saw it....or is this another mass hallucination? 

Phil.
Subject: Re: Picture links in tweets not working
From: Owen Foley <pariah.owen AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 10:16:22 +0000
Hi All,

Well it has been a few days now since I posted on birdforum regarding this
bird.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=243686

As those who have called it a "Tufted Duck" have not responded further,
then let us see where we are at.

Ill start with John.

John.

Perhaps if you had actually paid attention to the bird in greater detail,
instead of waffling at the top of your lungs about pixels and F stops and
lenses, you would actually have had the confidence to state outright that
you were watching a Lesser Scaup or, indeed, a "Tufted Duck".
You were on site for several hours, and yet you were unable to respond to
Killian either way?
Might I suggest that you pay more "Critical" attention in future to birds
you twitch?

Killian,

Are you still saying this bird is a "Tufted Duck"?
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=413372&d=1352366599

This bird has now moved on and left the tufted ducks it was with behind.
Circumstantial evidence for a vagrant perhaps?

Having seen the wingbar, watched it for many, many hours over 2 weekends. I
am happy it was indeed a Lesser Scaup.

I note Mike O'Keefe was the last person to report it, and did so without
the quotation marks.

Mike? Do you have any comments?

Owen



On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM, Killian Mullarney wrote:

> Thanks John, I wasn't aware that there had been a brief thread on the
> identity of the Rostellan Aythya on Birdforum. I can't see anything in this
> bird to make me suspect it is a hybrid and wing pattern aside, all other
> features seem to me to be compatible with it being an unadulterated
> first-winter Tufted Duck. Excellent photos of a similarly perplexing bird
> in the UK early last year can be seen here:
> http://pewit.blogspot.ie/2011/01/lesser-scaup.html
>
> This bird too was initially identified as a Lesser Scaup. I gather it was
> subsequently declared a hybrid, but it is not clear by whom, or why this
> particular conclusion was reached.
>
> Thanks to Graham for making available his excellent photos.
>
> Regards,
>
> Killian
>
> On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM, Birds  wrote:
>
> > Killian,
> > many thanks for that. Thanks to the shots on day, we were able to see
> small
> > marks along of the edges of the g. coverts and tertials which had us
> > leaning
> > towards Common even before the long wingbar was seen - see shots of that
> by
> > Graham Clarke at
> >  http://grahamsphoto.blogspot.ie/2012/10/lesser-scaup-at-last.html
> >
> > As for the duck, Graham also mentions in the that blog post that he saw
> the
> > short wing bar but so far as I know, this has not been photographed. I
> > think
> > the head shape looks interesting in the left hand of my posted shots but
> > perhaps this may be posture dependent - and the quality of the shot is
> not
> > great which can sometimes deceive
> > http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncoveneyphotos/8132665251/in/photostream
> >
> > There is also a thread on bird forum suggesting it is a hybrid
> > http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=243686
> >
> > Hopefully, it is still there and people will check it out again.
> >
> > John Coveney, 56 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18,
> > johnc AT ecoveney.ie 087 2755158
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
> > Killian Mullarney
> > Sent: 06 November 2012 11:26
> > To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
> > Subject: Re: Picture links in tweets not working
> >
> > Hi John,
> > I'd be the last person to offer advice on your 'tweet' issue, but at the
> > end
> > of your email you asked if anyone had any thoughts on the wing pattern of
> > the Common Sandpiper you photographed at Rostellan last weekend, which
> > prompted me to take another look at your photos.
> >  Thanks to the clarity of your two shots, it is not too difficult to
> > discern
> > the fine detail in the pattern of the greater coverts that identifies the
> > bird as a fairly typical (but worn) juvenile Common Sandpiper. Close
> > scrutiny of the innermost greater covert in the shot of the bird's right
> > side reveals at least three small dark marks along the feather margins,
> in
> > addition to the rather weak dark subterminal bar.
> > Spotted Sandpiper usually shows just one dark mark here but more
> > importantly, the subterminal dark bar in Spotted is usually distinctly
> > bolder than in Common, on all of the wing coverts (greaters, medians and
> > lessers). This is what produces the panel of more pronounced barring
> across
> > the wing of Spotted.
> >  The Rostellan bird appears at first glance to have plain tertial edges,
> > which I gather was what gave rise to thoughts of Spotted Sandpiper on the
> > day. This is often the case with late autumn/winter Commons, which tend
> to
> > have more worn tertials than fresh juveniles in July. Again though, if
> you
> > look closely at the longest tertial (it has dropped the innermost two
> > tertials on the right side) you can see that there are fine
> light-and-dark
> > markings along at least the distal half of the edge of this feather,
> > indicative of Common (though in fact, Spotteds are not always as 'plain'
> on
> > the tertial edges as we might like them to be...).
> >  As for the 'Lesser Scaup' at Rostellan, I'm not sure exactly how the
> > identification was arrived at, but judging from the shots posted on
> > irishbirding, I can't help wondering if perhaps insufficient
> consideration
> > was given to the possibility of it being just an odd-looking Tufted Duck?
> > Either way, I'd anticipate the identity becoming a bit clearer over the
> > coming weeks, assuming the bird lingers. Do any of the people who have
> seen
> > in have reservations about the identification, or be prepared to present
> a
> > case for supporting the proposed identification as a Lesser Scaup?
> >  Regards,
> > Killian
> >
> > On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Birds  wrote:
> >
> > > Hi all,
> > > Just wondering if anyone can help with this:- When someone posts a
> > > "pic.twitter.com/...." link in a tweet - e.g. in Dave Suddaby's
> > > treecreeper tweet today - and when I click on it, the tweet comes up
> > > in a new tab but instead of the picture there is only an empty box
> > > with "embedded image permalink" written in it. When I click on that, I
> > > get a picture page but again with an empty box instead of a picture.
> > > I've checked Twitter's help page and done a bit a of Googling but to
> > > no avail . . . any ideas?? BTW other links in my Twitter feed work OK
> > > e.g. - the maps links in Seamus Feeney's Sligo Bird News and Mark
> > > Carmody's links to his Flickr page.
> > >
> > > Thanks, John C
> > >
> > > PS - anyone have any thoughts on the wing pattern of the Common
> > > Sandpiper at Rostellan last weekend?
> > > http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncoveneyphotos/8132242585/in/photostre
> > > am
> > >
> > >
> > > John Coveney, 56 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18, johnc AT ecoveney.ie
> > > 087 2755158
> > >
> >
>



-- 
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- Douglas Adams

http://ie.movember.com/mospace/1178304
Subject: Re: Colour ringed Redpoll
From: Michael Noonan <michaelnoonan16 AT GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2012 23:35:41 +0000
Thanks guys!

-Michael


On 7 November 2012 17:08, Mícheál Casey  wrote:

> Thanks Peter - the use of split rings on captive birds is news to me, but
> I agree with your conclusions.  Yes there is a requirement to put closed
> rings on native European wild birds in captivity, which is why I ruled out
> a legitimate captive bird source.
>
> Mícheál
>
> On 7 Nov 2012, at 09:53, Peter Phillips wrote:
>
> > Hi Michael,
> >
> > It would not be unusual for a bird that has spent some time in captivity
> to
> > have a ring like this one fitted its leg. A good explaination of the
> > different between closed and split rings for captive birds can be found
> here;
> >
> > http://www.bestofbreeds.net/nca/factsheets/Fact_Sheet_07.pdf
> >
> > To add to Michael's suggestions;
> >
> > 1.The bird may have been found injured possibly in a garden and the
> person
> > looking after it may have ringed it to see if it would return to the
> garden.
> >
> > 2. The bird may have been captive bred and escaped (although I think
> though
> > there is a legal requirement to close ring native finches bred in
> captivity
> > to prove they were born in captivity). Someone with a better knowledge of
> > the wildlife legislation might know for sure.
> >
> > 3.The bird might have been illegally caught as a wild adult bird and had
> the
> > ring placed on it in captivity and the bird has since escaped.
> >
> > I am not sure how common catching wild native finches still is in Ireland
> > but it used to be fairly widespread. Someone from the National Parks
> might know.
> >
> > Personally, I think its option 1 or option 3. With a good probability the
> > bird was illegally caught and ringed and has since escaped.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Peter
>
Subject: PINE GROZZERS getting closer
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2012 14:54:54 -0500
Denmark today has seen more PINE GROSBEAKS arrive in Skagen suggesting that 
 the southerly exodus is picking up, whilst in North America, large numbers 
of  RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, PINE SISKINS and EVENING GROSBEAKS are 
irrupting.
 
Here in Britain, the westerly winds have put paid to arriving vagrants and  
we are left with a paucity of birds of wider interest.....the total remains 
 at 440 species.....
 
Highly popular is a first-winter female HOODED MERGANSER in West Sussex,  
present for just over a week in Pagham Harbour. The bird is favouring the 
tidal  creek by the sluice at the North Wall and is concentrating its efforts 
at  catching Crabs and other crustaceans. An hour either side of high tide 
should  provide the best views, otherwise the bird swims down the creek and is 
very  distant or out of view. Park sensibly at the end of Church Lane and 
walk 200  yards to the sluice bridge to view. As there is nothing to suggest 
that this  bird is an escape (unringed and fully-winged) and its appearance 
in November  mirrors that of the majority of recent records of this species 
in the UK, it is  considered by the UK400 Club to be most likely a genuine 
vagrant.
 
In Kent in the Stour Valley, the PENDULINE TIT flock at Grove Ferry NR  
(Stodmarsh) increased to four birds first thing this morning, showing well  
pulling Bulrush heads apart from the David Feast Hide. However, with an  
increasing westerly wind, they were not seen again despite searching (at least 

one bird has been present all week).
 
After several weeks, the EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER continues to survive at 
 Kilminning, Fife Ness (Fife), showing well in Rose bushes close to the 
green  building on the seaward side of the lower car park at NO 631 088. At  
the same site also is a very long-staying juvenile BARRED WARBLER. Further 
north  on Shetland, no less than 8 HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS remain, with 5 
in crops  around Baltasound School on Unst. Shetland also yielded a late 
ARCTIC WARBLER in Helendale on Wednesday and Thursday. Also managing to survive 

and find suitable  food is the EUROPEAN BEE-EATER in County Durham, 
favouring properties and gardens along Dartford Road in Seaham (SR6 8HF for 
those 

of you with  Sat-nav's)
 
A RICHARD'S PIPIT remains on the clifftop SE of the church at Covehithe  
(Suffolk) whilst a late juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE was trapped and ringed in  
Denmark House garden, Weybourne (Norfolk), this afternoon. In Breckland 
Norfolk,  an elusive BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER is frequenting the River Thet in 
Thetford.
 
An adult BONAPARTE'S GULL continues in South Devon at Dawlish Warren  NNR, 
ranging along the beach between the Lifeboat lookout and Groyne 1, whilst  
the influx of CASPIAN GULLS continues with perhaps 45 birds recorded from  
Derbyshire to Buckinghamshire.
 
The adult LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER remains with Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits 
 at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) on South Lake, whilst a first-winter was still  
present yesterday at the Long Nanny Burn in Northumberland. An adult 
AMERICAN  GOLDEN PLOVER still retaining partial breeding plumage remains for a 
second day  with 850 European Golden Plovers on mudflats at Pickerings Pasture 
NR  (Cheshire).
 
A fair number of wintering GREAT WHITE EGRETS are to be found, with 4 in  
the Dungeness Area (Kent), the regularly-reappearing French-ringed adult at  
Ringwood (Hants), a bird at Willington GP (Derbyshire) (at SK 284 275), the  
usual bird at Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs), up to 3 at ham Wall RSPB 
(Somerset) and 2 at Burton Mere Wetlands (Cheshire). Contrastingly, just one 
GLOSSY 

IBIS  remains - at Marloes Mere (Pembs).
 
This time of year always sees a scattering of rare wildfowl with the adult  
RED-BREASTED GOOSE grazing with Dark-bellied Brent Geese and Canada Geese 
on The  Deeps, Farlington Marsh (Hants), RING-NECKED DUCKS including a female 
in Ireland  Bay, Slapton Ley (South Devon), a drake at Chew Valley Lake 
(Avon),one on Skomer  (Pembs) and a young drake on Alvie Loch, near Aviemore 
(Speyside), a drake  LESSER SCAUP in Villice Bay, Chew Valley Lake (Avon) and 
the drake AMERICAN  WIGEON remaining at Wintersett Reservoir (West Yorks).
 
There continue to be large numbers of arriving BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS into the  
UK, from Shetland to Scilly, although individual flock sizes are generally 
small  (less than 25) when compared to recent influxes of the species. A 
flock of 112  however is to be found in Blaydon (County Durham), 330 in Hull 
(East Yorks), 200 in Morrison's Car Park in Stirling (Forth) and 150 on Euston 

Street in  Preston (Lancs). At least 150 Waxwings have been colour-ringed 
in Orkney in  recent weeks and if you see any of these birds, please email 
_alan.leitch AT rspb.org.uk_ (mailto:alan.leitch AT rspb.org.uk)  with  details.
 
The largest flock of BRAMBLING I have heard of so far is of 125 birds in  
Beech in Screetham Lane, Beeley Moor (Derbyshire)
 
Just one freshwater GREAT NORTHERN DIVER has been reported (on the  Main 
Pit at Theale, Berkshire), whilst inland LONG-TAILED DUCKS can be found at  
Stocks Reservoir (Lancs) and at Dungeness RSPB (Kent).
 
Very little in the way of news from IRELAND but the  regularly-reappearing 
adult SABINE'S GULL is back at the Kennedy Pier in Cobh  (County Cork), the 
adult FORSTER'S TERN is once more at Nimmo's Pier, Galway  Harbour (County 
Galway), a young drake LESSER SCAUP is on Lough Gash and at  least 2 
RICHARDSON'S SMALL CANADA GEESE are in the Lissadell Area. A party of 5 COMMON 

CRANES have been present at Tacumshin (County Wexford) in recent days, as have 

2 juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS on the Myroe Levels, whilst the regular  
blue morph LESSER SNOW GOOSE is back at Lower Lough MacNean (County 
Fermanagh). Highlight though, was news of a BLACKPOLL WARBLER late this 
afternoon, 

feeding  in a private garden on the Mullet at Blacksod (County Mayo), whilst 
on Sunday 4  November, this year's only PIED-BILLED GREBE remained near 
Louisburgh at Lough  Baun (County Mayo).
 
 
Lee G R  Evans, Ornithological Consultant, British Birding 
Association/UK400  Club
Professional Guiding from just £63/70 Euros
per  day
2013 Tour Itinerary shortly to be announced but vacancies still on  Round 
Britain Tours from 19-27 January and 17-26  May - email Lee at  
LGREUK400 AT aol.com
Subject: Movember
From: Mark Carmody <dr.carmo AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 20:34:02 +0000
Hi folks, 

Just want to let people know that I'm partaking in the annual Movember 
moustache growing event to highlight men's cancer and in particular prostate 
cancer. If you can spare a couple of euro for this charity, please pop along to 
my Movember page http://mobro.co/markcarmody where you can have a right old 
laugh at my growing attempt! 


Many thanks,

Mark

Sent from my portable telephone
www.flickr.com/photos/drcarmo
www.markcarmodyphotography.com
Subject: Shocking and disgraceful killing of AMUR FALCONS in India
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 12:15:01 -0500
See link - _http://www.conservationindia.org/campaigns/amur-massacre_ 
(http://www.conservationindia.org/campaigns/amur-massacre) 
Subject: Re: Colour ringed Redpoll
From: Mícheál Casey <michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 17:08:06 +0000
Thanks Peter - the use of split rings on captive birds is news to me, but I 
agree with your conclusions. Yes there is a requirement to put closed rings on 
native European wild birds in captivity, which is why I ruled out a legitimate 
captive bird source. 


Mícheál

On 7 Nov 2012, at 09:53, Peter Phillips wrote:

> Hi Michael,
> 
> It would not be unusual for a bird that has spent some time in captivity to
> have a ring like this one fitted its leg. A good explaination of the
> different between closed and split rings for captive birds can be found here;
> 
> http://www.bestofbreeds.net/nca/factsheets/Fact_Sheet_07.pdf
> 
> To add to Michael's suggestions;
> 
> 1.The bird may have been found injured possibly in a garden and the person
> looking after it may have ringed it to see if it would return to the garden.
> 
> 2. The bird may have been captive bred and escaped (although I think though
> there is a legal requirement to close ring native finches bred in captivity
> to prove they were born in captivity). Someone with a better knowledge of
> the wildlife legislation might know for sure.
> 
> 3.The bird might have been illegally caught as a wild adult bird and had the
> ring placed on it in captivity and the bird has since escaped.
> 
> I am not sure how common catching wild native finches still is in Ireland
> but it used to be fairly widespread. Someone from the National Parks might 
know. 

> 
> Personally, I think its option 1 or option 3. With a good probability the
> bird was illegally caught and ringed and has since escaped.
> 
> Regards
> 
> Peter
Subject: Re: Colour ringed Redpoll
From: Peter Phillips <pmphillips AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 09:53:42 +0000
Hi Michael,

It would not be unusual for a bird that has spent some time in captivity to
have a ring like this one fitted its leg. A good explaination of the
different between closed and split rings for captive birds can be found here;

http://www.bestofbreeds.net/nca/factsheets/Fact_Sheet_07.pdf

To add to Michael's suggestions;

1.The bird may have been found injured possibly in a garden and the person
looking after it may have ringed it to see if it would return to the garden.

2. The bird may have been captive bred and escaped (although I think though
there is a legal requirement to close ring native finches bred in captivity
to prove they were born in captivity). Someone with a better knowledge of
the wildlife legislation might know for sure.

3.The bird might have been illegally caught as a wild adult bird and had the
ring placed on it in captivity and the bird has since escaped.

I am not sure how common catching wild native finches still is in Ireland
but it used to be fairly widespread. Someone from the National Parks might 
know. 


Personally, I think its option 1 or option 3. With a good probability the
bird was illegally caught and ringed and has since escaped.

Regards

Peter
Subject: Re: Colour ringed Redpoll
From: Mícheál Casey <michealjcasey AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 22:54:10 +0000
Very strange, Michael.

All Irish and UK ringing projects for Lesser Redpoll would include a BTO 
numbered metal ring below the tarsus, which your bird does not have - as far as 
I am aware that is a requirement for all colour ringing projects with a couple 
of exceptions (one being Brent, where the legs are too short to accommodate 
both a colour ring & a metal ring). 


I have heard of kids putting home-made rings on birds that get trapped in 
glasshouses or that they catch otherwise, but that ring looks factory made. 


It's not a captive-bred cage-bird ring either, as they have closed rings, not 
split like this one.. 


So this is a very odd ring overall. I do not fancy your chances of tracing who 
ringed it - I doubt if it was ringed under licence in any official scheme. 


The only remote possibility is that it has been ringed with a metal ring ABOVE 
the tarsus, on the 'thigh' which in the UK & Ireland is only done with some 
waders, but I believe some continental ringing schemes may do this on 
passerines - worth checking that carefully if you get another chance. You would 
find it very hard to read in the field even if that is the case. 


Best regards,

Mícheal



On 6 Nov 2012, at 22:00, Michael Noonan wrote:

> Hi,
> We had a group of about 10 Redpolls on the feeders here in Stepaside
> on Sunday.
> One of which had a green ring on its left leg. The right leg
> appeared unringed.
> 
> 
> I've upload a couple of photos to Flickr
> 
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/8765916 AT N05/8162285692/
> 
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/8765916 AT N05/8162286402/
> 
> Anyone got any suggestions as to where is was ringed?
> 
> regards
> -Michael
> 
> PS first Blackcap of the winter dropped in this morning!
Subject: Colour ringed Redpoll
From: Michael Noonan <michaelnoonan16 AT GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 22:00:40 +0000
Hi,
We had a group of about 10 Redpolls on the feeders here in Stepaside
on Sunday.
One of which had a green ring on its left leg. The right leg
appeared unringed.


I've upload a couple of photos to Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8765916 AT N05/8162285692/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8765916 AT N05/8162286402/

Anyone got any suggestions as to where is was ringed?

regards
-Michael

PS first Blackcap of the winter dropped in this morning!
Subject: Re: Picture links in tweets not working
From: Killian Mullarney <ktmullarney AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 13:24:02 +0000
Thanks John, I wasn't aware that there had been a brief thread on the
identity of the Rostellan Aythya on Birdforum. I can't see anything in this
bird to make me suspect it is a hybrid and wing pattern aside, all other
features seem to me to be compatible with it being an unadulterated
first-winter Tufted Duck. Excellent photos of a similarly perplexing bird
in the UK early last year can be seen here:
http://pewit.blogspot.ie/2011/01/lesser-scaup.html

This bird too was initially identified as a Lesser Scaup. I gather it was
subsequently declared a hybrid, but it is not clear by whom, or why this
particular conclusion was reached.

Thanks to Graham for making available his excellent photos.

Regards,

Killian

On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM, Birds  wrote:

> Killian,
> many thanks for that. Thanks to the shots on day, we were able to see small
> marks along of the edges of the g. coverts and tertials which had us
> leaning
> towards Common even before the long wingbar was seen - see shots of that by
> Graham Clarke at
>  http://grahamsphoto.blogspot.ie/2012/10/lesser-scaup-at-last.html
>
> As for the duck, Graham also mentions in the that blog post that he saw the
> short wing bar but so far as I know, this has not been photographed. I
> think
> the head shape looks interesting in the left hand of my posted shots but
> perhaps this may be posture dependent - and the quality of the shot is not
> great which can sometimes deceive
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncoveneyphotos/8132665251/in/photostream
>
> There is also a thread on bird forum suggesting it is a hybrid
> http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=243686
>
> Hopefully, it is still there and people will check it out again.
>
> John Coveney, 56 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18,
> johnc AT ecoveney.ie 087 2755158
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
> Killian Mullarney
> Sent: 06 November 2012 11:26
> To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
> Subject: Re: Picture links in tweets not working
>
> Hi John,
> I'd be the last person to offer advice on your 'tweet' issue, but at the
> end
> of your email you asked if anyone had any thoughts on the wing pattern of
> the Common Sandpiper you photographed at Rostellan last weekend, which
> prompted me to take another look at your photos.
>  Thanks to the clarity of your two shots, it is not too difficult to
> discern
> the fine detail in the pattern of the greater coverts that identifies the
> bird as a fairly typical (but worn) juvenile Common Sandpiper. Close
> scrutiny of the innermost greater covert in the shot of the bird's right
> side reveals at least three small dark marks along the feather margins, in
> addition to the rather weak dark subterminal bar.
> Spotted Sandpiper usually shows just one dark mark here but more
> importantly, the subterminal dark bar in Spotted is usually distinctly
> bolder than in Common, on all of the wing coverts (greaters, medians and
> lessers). This is what produces the panel of more pronounced barring across
> the wing of Spotted.
>  The Rostellan bird appears at first glance to have plain tertial edges,
> which I gather was what gave rise to thoughts of Spotted Sandpiper on the
> day. This is often the case with late autumn/winter Commons, which tend to
> have more worn tertials than fresh juveniles in July. Again though, if you
> look closely at the longest tertial (it has dropped the innermost two
> tertials on the right side) you can see that there are fine light-and-dark
> markings along at least the distal half of the edge of this feather,
> indicative of Common (though in fact, Spotteds are not always as 'plain' on
> the tertial edges as we might like them to be...).
>  As for the 'Lesser Scaup' at Rostellan, I'm not sure exactly how the
> identification was arrived at, but judging from the shots posted on
> irishbirding, I can't help wondering if perhaps insufficient consideration
> was given to the possibility of it being just an odd-looking Tufted Duck?
> Either way, I'd anticipate the identity becoming a bit clearer over the
> coming weeks, assuming the bird lingers. Do any of the people who have seen
> in have reservations about the identification, or be prepared to present a
> case for supporting the proposed identification as a Lesser Scaup?
>  Regards,
> Killian
>
> On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Birds  wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> > Just wondering if anyone can help with this:- When someone posts a
> > "pic.twitter.com/...." link in a tweet - e.g. in Dave Suddaby's
> > treecreeper tweet today - and when I click on it, the tweet comes up
> > in a new tab but instead of the picture there is only an empty box
> > with "embedded image permalink" written in it. When I click on that, I
> > get a picture page but again with an empty box instead of a picture.
> > I've checked Twitter's help page and done a bit a of Googling but to
> > no avail . . . any ideas?? BTW other links in my Twitter feed work OK
> > e.g. - the maps links in Seamus Feeney's Sligo Bird News and Mark
> > Carmody's links to his Flickr page.
> >
> > Thanks, John C
> >
> > PS - anyone have any thoughts on the wing pattern of the Common
> > Sandpiper at Rostellan last weekend?
> > http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncoveneyphotos/8132242585/in/photostre
> > am
> >
> >
> > John Coveney, 56 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18, johnc AT ecoveney.ie
> > 087 2755158
> >
>
Subject: Re: Picture links in tweets not working
From: Birds <birds AT ECOVENEY.IE>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 12:47:14 -0000
Killian, 
many thanks for that. Thanks to the shots on day, we were able to see small
marks along of the edges of the g. coverts and tertials which had us leaning
towards Common even before the long wingbar was seen - see shots of that by
Graham Clarke at
 http://grahamsphoto.blogspot.ie/2012/10/lesser-scaup-at-last.html 

As for the duck, Graham also mentions in the that blog post that he saw the
short wing bar but so far as I know, this has not been photographed. I think
the head shape looks interesting in the left hand of my posted shots but
perhaps this may be posture dependent - and the quality of the shot is not
great which can sometimes deceive 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncoveneyphotos/8132665251/in/photostream 

There is also a thread on bird forum suggesting it is a hybrid
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=243686 

Hopefully, it is still there and people will check it out again.

John Coveney, 56 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18, 
johnc AT ecoveney.ie 087 2755158





-----Original Message-----
From: Irish Bird Network [mailto:IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE] On Behalf Of
Killian Mullarney
Sent: 06 November 2012 11:26
To: IBN-L AT LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Re: Picture links in tweets not working

Hi John,
I'd be the last person to offer advice on your 'tweet' issue, but at the end
of your email you asked if anyone had any thoughts on the wing pattern of
the Common Sandpiper you photographed at Rostellan last weekend, which
prompted me to take another look at your photos.
 Thanks to the clarity of your two shots, it is not too difficult to discern
the fine detail in the pattern of the greater coverts that identifies the
bird as a fairly typical (but worn) juvenile Common Sandpiper. Close
scrutiny of the innermost greater covert in the shot of the bird's right
side reveals at least three small dark marks along the feather margins, in
addition to the rather weak dark subterminal bar.
Spotted Sandpiper usually shows just one dark mark here but more
importantly, the subterminal dark bar in Spotted is usually distinctly
bolder than in Common, on all of the wing coverts (greaters, medians and
lessers). This is what produces the panel of more pronounced barring across
the wing of Spotted.
 The Rostellan bird appears at first glance to have plain tertial edges,
which I gather was what gave rise to thoughts of Spotted Sandpiper on the
day. This is often the case with late autumn/winter Commons, which tend to
have more worn tertials than fresh juveniles in July. Again though, if you
look closely at the longest tertial (it has dropped the innermost two
tertials on the right side) you can see that there are fine light-and-dark
markings along at least the distal half of the edge of this feather,
indicative of Common (though in fact, Spotteds are not always as 'plain' on
the tertial edges as we might like them to be...).
 As for the 'Lesser Scaup' at Rostellan, I'm not sure exactly how the
identification was arrived at, but judging from the shots posted on
irishbirding, I can't help wondering if perhaps insufficient consideration
was given to the possibility of it being just an odd-looking Tufted Duck?
Either way, I'd anticipate the identity becoming a bit clearer over the
coming weeks, assuming the bird lingers. Do any of the people who have seen
in have reservations about the identification, or be prepared to present a
case for supporting the proposed identification as a Lesser Scaup?
 Regards,
Killian

On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Birds  wrote:

> Hi all,
> Just wondering if anyone can help with this:- When someone posts a 
> "pic.twitter.com/...." link in a tweet - e.g. in Dave Suddaby's 
> treecreeper tweet today - and when I click on it, the tweet comes up 
> in a new tab but instead of the picture there is only an empty box 
> with "embedded image permalink" written in it. When I click on that, I 
> get a picture page but again with an empty box instead of a picture. 
> I've checked Twitter's help page and done a bit a of Googling but to 
> no avail . . . any ideas?? BTW other links in my Twitter feed work OK 
> e.g. - the maps links in Seamus Feeney's Sligo Bird News and Mark 
> Carmody's links to his Flickr page.
>
> Thanks, John C
>
> PS - anyone have any thoughts on the wing pattern of the Common 
> Sandpiper at Rostellan last weekend?
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncoveneyphotos/8132242585/in/photostre
> am
>
>
> John Coveney, 56 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18, johnc AT ecoveney.ie 
> 087 2755158
>