Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mixed Bag update

This is a little update from yesterday and today, a mixed bag of birding with a spot of ringing thrown in.

Today we had to travel up to Lancaster City so first called in at Knott End followed by a quick look at the geese at Lane Ends, Pilling before heading north up Death Row/Biker’s Mile towards Lancaster.

The tide was pretty much in at Knott End, all the better then for a quick count of stuff beyond the Bourne Arms, on the jetty itself or along the water’s edge, passerines and shore birds: 23 Turnstone, 9 Sanderling, 18 Redshank, 45 Shelduck, 2 Pied Wagtail, 9 Twite, 1 Black Redstart, 45 Shelduck

Twite

Eider

At Lane Ends 7 Eurasian White-fronted Geese were the nearest of a pack of about 300 geese at Backsands Lane. It’s difficult to get a shot of more than 3 or 4 of the white-fronts together because not only are they strung out across several yards, but like all crowds of geese some feed heads down while others stay heads up on the lookout for predators, until after a few minutes it’s time to reverse roles when “feeders” become “sentinels” and vice versa.

Eurasian White-fronted Goose

Back home I’ve caught more Goldfinch and a couple more new female Blackbirds; in the continuing cold, both thrushes carried fat scores of 3 and weighed in at 111 and 110 grams respectively.

As might be expected male Goldfinches continue to outnumber females; the sex ratios in Britain and in Spain suggest that that a greater number of females migrate than do males, and also that females tend to winter further south (Newton 1972, Asensio 1986, Migration Atlas 2002). There does seem to be a steady changeover of Goldfinches through the garden at the moment, perhaps just locally wintering birds so it will be interesting to note when the proportion of females increases. No sign of Siskins yet.

A young female I caught today still had traces of buff, juvenile crown feathers - compare with the fully coloured male, the extent of red behind the eye and the depth of red below the bill.

Goldfinch- first winter female

Goldfinch - adult male

10 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Phil! And loved the Eider shot. The Goldfinch will always be one of my favorite birds you have across the pond. Sounds like you had a better day of birding and banding. Have a wonderful weekend!

Kay L. Davies said...

"Twite" is my new favourite word, Phil. I love it! I wonder where I can use it. "Not quite twite" sounds good but needs a situation.
Like Eileen, I love the Eider photo.
K

Tammy said...

Great photos! Love that Eider! Very interesting looking, wish we had some here!

Andrew Fulton said...

A lovely post to read.. wonderful images.

Russell said...

Great close-ups of the goldfinches and I'd love to see a eider as seen in your photograph. What handsome birds.

dAwN said...

Great shots! Love the goldfinch close ups!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Those Eider are really cool looking birds and the Twite...gee, I do not recall ever seeing one before...a very pretty little bird! Hope that you have a great week ahead Phil...take care...stay warm, I sure am trying to;)

Chris said...

beautiful birding days you got and nice pictures. It is quite calm at the moment over here...

Stuart Price said...

A good day Phil. It's been many a year since I've been to Lancaster.............

rachelle vance photography said...

amazing images!

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