Friday, February 15, 2013

Payoff Day

My regular feeding at the plantation for the last few weeks paid off today with a good catch of finches and other bits and bobs. 

Just a couple of nets proved enough for a steady catch of 20 birds made up of 8 Brambling, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Goldfinch. In all I counted 14+ Brambling, 25+ Chaffinch and 20+ Goldfinch about, together with the usual 20 or more Reed Buntings. 

A blog reader with Bramblings close to home asked recently about ageing and sexing Bramblings in the field; I replied by saying while it isn’t easy, it is possible with good and preferably close views. Much easier in the hand of course. 

Today’s 8 Bramblings proved to be a mix of 4 second calendar year females, 3 second calendar year males and one adult male. Below is the adult male, lots of black in the wings and tail, very rounded tail feathers and black across the wing coverts. 

Brambling - adult male

Brambling - adult male

Brambling - adult male

A second calendar year male, less black overall with pointed tail feathers, 

Brambling - second calendar year male

Brambling - second calendar year male

Below shows two second year females. The last year’s tail feathers of the second example are not only pointed but show a juvenile fault bar running across them all. 

Brambling - second calendar year female

Brambling - second calendar year female

It’s now something of A Red Letter Day to catch a Song Thrush, so scarce have they become. 

Song Thrush

There was an improvement today in catching 2 Reed Buntings out of the 20+ forever on site. 

Reed Bunting

All the Robin wanted to do was look at its own reflection in the camera lens. 


The catch kept me fairly busy, but otherwise I noted 400+ Woodpigeon, 2 Jay, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 4 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Treecreeper, 6 Skylark, 18 Tree Sparrow, 1 Yellowhammer, 2 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing. 


A complaining Carrion Crow put me on to a Short-eared Owl flying high in the sky and heading west. As I rapidly changed lenses and the crow persisted, the owl turned and headed back east leaving me with yet another record shot. 

Short-eared Owl

That’s all for now folks. Look in to Another Bird Blog soon for more news and record shots. This post is also linking to Madge's Weekly Top Shot .


Unknown said...

Looks like it's suddenly become Brambling catching season. You'll do better up north this year than us "Summer folk".

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, glad you had a good day ringing the birds. It is neat to see the different ages of the Bramblings. And congrats on the Song Thrush, sounds like a great bird to have show up. And I love the owl shot! Have a great weekend and happy birding!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Those Bramblings are really beautiful and the Song Thrush, what a sweet one that is, and I always enjoy seeing the Robins that you have where you live. Phil, I am always fascinated, when I see photographs of Owls that you see in daylight...that would be such fun! Have a happy weekend~

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great birds photos!

Gail Dixon said...

The beam kings are so colorful with great markings. I got some kestrel shots yesterday. They are very skittish birds!

TexWisGirl said...

wonderful! the bramblings have such a pretty mottled color. the song thrush is lovely! i loved the kestral shot!

Jackie said...

Super shots Phil. They're all wonderful but the bramblings are so lovely!

The Song Thrush is just beautiful! Congrats on such a successful week!

Happy weekend!

carol l mckenna said...

Such beauty in your photography ~ Wow! Great for WTS

HansHB said...

Lovely photos of this cute bird!

Anonymous said...

Great details... I'm so glad you came by to share on Weekly Top Shot #70!

Lighthousegal said...

Wonderful photos. Love the way you show the details of the beautiful birds in your photos.

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

It's always a joy to come and see the birds you've photographed.

I wonder if you could help me. I'm awful at remembering the names of birds. I've photographed 3 in my garden here in Mid Wales (well I photographed more, but these were the best shots) and was wondering if you would name them for me? - I think the 1st two birds may be the same type of bird.

Unknown said...

Awesome shots!

IULISA said...

Wonderful achievement!

Unknown said...

Beautiful birds! Awesome shots!
Greetings from Romania!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Love the bramblings and all the other birds, but I was so taken by the Kingfisher in the header shot that I nearly forgot to scroll down and read the post! Oh my gosh he's so handsome. Different from our Kingfisher and more beautiful I think.

Unknown said...

Never seen anyone catch a bird before, so interesting. beautiful birds and beautiful photo's.

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