Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pied Wagtails Up Close

There was lots of movement at and over Beer Head this morning - I didn't do any counting though as I could only stay an hour, had to go into town at 9am then joined Mr T for a spot of bird ringing.

The most numerous species going over were Goldfinches, Siskins and hirundines, with fewer Linnets, Chaffinches, Mipits, Skylarks, Pied Wags and a late Tree Pipit. Amongst the many grounded Robins and Song Thrushes were two Redwings, two Lesser Redpolls plus a few Chiffs and Goldcrests. I can give it much longer tomorrow morning - and I have high hopes! I've got to get something decent!!!

So then it was time for some ringing. Mr T has permission to ring inside Colyford WTW works - which is great! In the first couple of visits here we've caught tons of Chiffs, but today we managed only two...

I was hoping for something a little more stripey!

We did catch six Pied Wagtails though! Ok, so they are not rare - but up close they are stunning...

Male

Female

The wing of a first-winter (aged 3) male; note the contrast in old and new GC's and the contrast between the black tertials and much browner flight feathers

Whilst ringing, a Black Redstart was a nice surprise in the top corner of the WTW - unfortunately it chose not to fly into a mist net!

Lastly, late news of a Short-eared Owl seen last Saturday. It came up from Seaton Marshes late afternoon, and was chased by Crows across the Estuary then up over towards Axe Cliff.

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