Sunday, February 19, 2012

Green And Yellow

In the garden this week have been Greenfinches and a single Treecreeper, the latter species becoming something of a local rarity in recent years, and then close by this morning 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers, each drumming out their territories. This fine Sunday morning and the final day of school half-term I decided against going birding when all the world and his many dogs would almost certainly be where I wished to explore; instead I decided to try a spot of netting for more Goldfinches and anything else that came along – not much did.

In contrast to last winter, for months now there’s been an obvious lack of some finches in this part of the North West, with just average numbers of Chaffinch and virtually no Siskins or Bramblings. Last year Will and I caught 150+ Siskin and 22 Bramblings in January/February in his garden and at another site near Lancaster. Before today the ringing group’s score sheet read just 2 Brambling and 0 Siskin; until today that is when the Goldfinches brought a few Siskins “pinging” towards the garden Niger feeders, and so fifty days into the New Year I caught the ringing group’s first Siskin of 2012. The Goldfinch total was topped up by 3 more males and a single female.

Siskin

Goldfinch

The morning was warm and sunny and from the tops of the sycamore came the fluty calls of Starlings, noises reminiscent of the Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus, one of the Old World oriole family, whose kinfolk include the Starling. The Golden Oriole is a rare bird in the UK but a species I became familiar with during 5 visits to India, where many European Golden Orioles spend the winter. It’s also a species I look forward to meeting each year in Menorca, where a walk along quiet paths will unearth a few pairs. Unlike our everyday Starling, the Golden Orioles I see are usually very secretive, hiding out in the tree canopy where the males stay out of sight and the females use their yellow and green colouring to blend in, all in all making the bird almost impossible to photograph. The photograph below is from Bangalore, by Nanda Ramesh. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Nanda_ramesh

Golden Oriole courtesy of Nanda Ramesh

Golden Oriole

All was complete this morning when Starlings came down to feed on last night’s left overs of curry and naan bread, allowing me to catch 5 birds; pity they weren’t the yellow variety of oriole, but our own much maligned Starling is actually a very smart looking creature if a tad bit common for most folk’s liking.

Starling

16 comments:

rachelle vance photography said...

those birds are beautiful!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent and beautiful photographs.

Regards and best wishes

Susan Ward said...

Fantastic photos - these birds are beautiful

eileeninmd said...

Phil, beautiful birds and wonderful photos.

Kay L. Davies said...

Nanda's oriole photo is spectacular, isn't it?
I had to look up treecreeper, and I see there's only one kind in Britain.
Always enjoyable and educational to visit your blog, Phil.
K

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Awe, no image of the Treecreeper...they are just about some of the sweetest little birds and oh how they do blend in nicely with the tree trunks.
Yummy...I love curried foods and Naan bread...great food from India...I sure hope the Starlings enjoyed the leftovers, I know that I would have!
I think that while Starlings are just way too many in numbers, they are truly quite remarkable looking birds, I like them. Have a splendid week Phil~

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...it is your lucky day, thought you might be missing me pestering you!
Looks like the year is off to a slow start ..that goofing of you been doing is going to make you rusty when it is time to get out there with those nets!!
You know I rather like the Starlings feather markings when you can see then up close..quite unique...I have a bunch of then here at the feeders, but they eat to much lol!!
I glad to see you have your 2 word verifcation....there is a mutiny bunch out there against it .. lol..I guess they live in the world of it will never happen to me!! I think they believe that...Please prove your not a robot is some sort of joke!! ; }
I'm done bitching..
Grace your b...friend!!

Stuart Price said...

Another double take, thought the Oriole was a local patch bird!

Phil-I urge you to switch off word verification. I can hardly read it, I tried several times before I got it, the new system used by blogger is a nightmare.

Paco Sales said...

Una mañana bien aprovechada y con hermosas capturas Phil, bellas fotografías de estás lindas aves. Un abrazo amigo

lp.are.the.best said...

The Golden Oriole picture is unique !!!

news said...

Hi Phil; I agree re Starlings when the sun is on them there plumage is really irridesent brilliant.JWB.

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Belo trabalho...Espectacular....
Cumprimentos

Seasons said...

Phil, it is hard to compare the beauty of birds. True though it might be, that we get used to seeing certain ones, but then as your post tells - the numbers this year have not been like last year's. They are all beautiful. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures.

Costin Comba said...

Beautiful birds. Have a nice week. Greetings from Romania.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Wow, the Golden Oriole is just stunning! Looking much better than some of those we already have in Thailand.

Right now my google account has been disabled for some unknown reason, so I decided to start a new blog. I'm trying to bring back the old one, but I'll move on with the new one in the meantime.
Terribly sorry for the inconvenience.

Scott Simmons said...

fantastic images!

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