Friday, 20 April 2012

Back To Basics

Well after a very enjoyable and exciting fall on Tuesday, and a excellent sea watch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (so far) have been somewhat dire!

Yesterday, the best I mustered were my first White Wagtails of 2012 (late or what - I often see my first in March!). Two males were on Black Hole Marsh early morning, before flying off north.

This morning, the Beer Cemetery Fields produced just half a dozen Willow Warblers, two Swallows and a singing male Whitethoat. I was hoping for much MUCH more than this, because after a mostly clear night there was some decent clover this morning.

Today's blog post photos are going to have to come from some garden bird ringing. I've had the net up between showers today and yesterday as lots more birds are coming into the garden at the moment - especially finches. In fact about ten minutes ago I ringed the 150th Greenfinch for the garden (since June 2011).

Another small landmark was reached yesterday, with my 35th Bullfinch for the garden. It was a cracking second calendar year (aged 5) male, and below is a comparison shot of its open wing (above) with an adult male (below - taken on 27th Feb). Note the big red arrows pointing to the greater coverts and the key difference...

note the much broader whiter tips on the retained juvenile feathers on the younger bird. My fat thumbs are obscuring the carpal coverts on these birds, which is also a key ageing feature for Bullies.

Also this morning, I was rather surprised to catch this recently fledged juvenile Dunnock...

Don't worry, it was reunited with 'Mum' (or Dad?) upon release

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