Saturday, March 24, 2012

Finches And Fieldfares

It’s been a slow start to the finch season with even Goldfinches hard to come by lately, but this morning’s ringing on the moss made amends with a sudden increase in the King Harrys and the start of the redpoll passage.

With recent quiet visits and the cold, misty start today I wasn’t too adventurous with the number or positioning of nets but caught fairly well until about 10am. New birds, 12 Goldfinch, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Chaffinch and a single Coal Tit. The two recaptures were a Blackbird and a Goldfinch.

As the sun burned off the mist a few Siskins and more Lesser Redpolls flew north, however there was no sign of either Goldcrests or Chiffchaffs in the plantation, species we might expect by now. Otherwise the birding was subdued with 7 Yellowhammer, 45 Curlew, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Skylark, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel.

In the autumn it’s not always possible to sex Lesser Redpolls - no doubt about one of this morning’s males.

Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll

Chaffinch

Coal Tit

This Goldfinch is a female – the red on the face does not extend beyond the eye and the nasal hairs are greyish.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Fieldfares have used a nearby field for weeks now, all through the wet spell and even now as the soil dries out completely where the bird's brown tones merge in with the dry terrain. I stopped today to take some photographs of birds in a flock of about 130 as they intermittently picked over the earth than flew to the tops of nearby trees when passing vehicles spooked them. Take a good look, it may be November before we see them again. I saw a single distant Redwing amongst the flock but could have missed others.

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Redwing

5 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful collection of birds and photos, Phil! I love the redpolls and the Goldfinch! Great post, happy birding!

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Como siempre preciosas fotos de maravillosas aves,, el jilguero me encanta y los primeros se parecen a los gorriones pero no se que son.. Graciassss por este formidable blog

Rohrerbot said...

Looks like a good count. Love the shots of the birds. There are several birds that are still difficult for me to identify...Redpoll and Fieldfare for example. The Redpoll looks similiar to our House Finch. Have a great weekend.

news said...

Hi Phil: Nice shots of the Fieldfare & Redwing the latter I have not seen this winter at all.Best wishes JWB.

Seasons said...

Hi Phil. There has been much to learn and see in this post. Particularly interesting was, how to identify the gender of the Goldfinch. The Coal Tit is beautiful. The Fieldfare has a unique posture, as though it were strutting around or be on the lookout. Wonder if that has any significance. Enjoyed reading and looking through the pictures. Take care, and see you soon!

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