Friday, 22 November 2013

"What a Cracker" - an early Christmas present.

Nice day ringing at The Lodge today with the usual suspects from the feeders.

We also had a couple of nets up to catch any thurshes coming to feed on the Yew berries. When the Yew have been stripped of berries around Christmas the wood seems devoid of wintering thrushes.

Today, the Redwing numbers seemed to drop off around mid afternoon. Coming back from a round at about 14:30, Chris was positively brimming - three more Redwings. Except that one was very different. It was from the Icelandic/Faroes race T. iliacus coburni. I've posted photos below.

Redwings Charnwood 21.11.2013, Icelandic race on left. Photo Stuart Moffat

Icelandic race Redwing showing darker under-wing coverts 21.11.2013 Photo Stuart Moffat

Overall a more bulky bird with darker back and rump (biometrics were still in the overlap with nominate T. i. iliacus). The streaks on the breast and flanks were noticably darker, heavier and joined on the breast to make to smudge. Under wing coverts were also much darker that the nominate race.

The Icelandic race normally winters further west than the nominate race. Wintering in Scotland, Ireland and Western France. Presumably the strong northerly winds over the six weeks has taken it further off course.

Here are the new/retraps for the day.

Blue Tit 10/6, Great Tit 9/8, Coal Tit 1/9, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Nuthatch 1/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Blackbird 4/0, Song Thrush 1/0 Redwing 11/0, Chaffinch 4/0.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

More from the roost

The weather cleared this afternoon but there was a decided chill in the air.
The long line of nets in the rhododendron tunnel were set early and we had others around the feeder and the raspberry bushes.
The air was full of bird sound and there was much activity so we were hopeful.

The roost materialized on cue. Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Chaffinch and Brambling. Even a Nuthatch got in on the act.
This welcome list of birds was on top of the regulars from the other nets Treecreepers, Goldcrests, Robin, Tits in general but especially a number of Coal Tits which seems to have had a good breeding season at the Lodge.
A great afternoon topped off with calling Tawny Owls and Jays and Ravens coming in to roost late on in the big trees.