Sunday, December 13, 2009

Black Redstart heaven

With the wind in the north went up to top of Glebelands where there was still some vis mig going on, even with quite a strong wind. Goldfinch numbered 44, with 2 Redpoll, 9 Siskin, 3 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch and a Pied Wag. These birds were all heading north into the wind. However the highlight was a party of 6 Bullfinch that were using the wind to go south.

Walked along to the trig point where 1+ Black Redstart had been reported. Lots of runners etc around so had a look at the sheltered cliffs. A quick scan revealed an imm/♀ bird.
Looking at the photo it looks like it is a first winter. According to BWP, first years can be distinguished from adult ♀ by retained dull juvenile wing-coverts and fringes to tertials which this looks to have. It was quite a ruddy brown colour, particularly on the underparts and face.

Record shot of other side

As I was watching this bird another one flew in.
No problem in ageing this little beauty!

It appeared to be chasing a third bird and some patient scanning eventually did reveal a third bird.
A smoky grey one this time, completely different to the first bird. It also looks to have offwhite as opposed to buff edgings presumably making it an adult female

A walk west back along the cliff turned up a fourth bird. This one more like the first one with again ruddy brown areas. Edgings here look buff so presumably a 1st year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

North Studland

South Haven at first light to see what would come into the harbour. There was in fact some unexpected vis mig particularly given the west wind.
A total of 84 Goldfinch south, along with 3 Redpoll and a Brambling.
3 Eider also dropped down just off the beach and proceeded to drift into the harbour

This one a first year male

This one also a first year male, you can just see a pale area above the eye running down to the bill.

This one another, perhaps even younger male. A pale area above the eye can just be made out. It also has a dark back unlike adult female and a hint of some white bits lower down.

A scaly patterned juv Great Northern Diver



Pale-bellied showing white undercarriage

Hark the Herring 'a' Gulls sing!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sibe Chiffs Hatch Pond

Ewans bird near Pine trees

Record shot of two birds together

Probably second bird

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Terns again!

Down to Baiter to have another look at those Terns!
Another interesting bird has turned up. This is a bonefide adult bird still with its unmoulted summer primaries, interesting because it is the only one I have seen in this state of plumage out of 10 or so birds that have been around.

Interesing also because according to BWP the primary moult starts as early as mid July and should be completed from end of October to December.
This is where I mention acuflavida again! Apparently the American birds do moult much later.
Dutch birding also makes the comment that any bird seen with unmoulted primaries going into January should be given particular attention. Lets hope it stays around, keeps its primaries and goes a bit balder!
The first visible primaries on this bird could be new although they are markedly different in summer plumaged birds anyway as the outers are not moulted prior to breeding . This can be seen in the pic below of a sum plum bird on Brownsea.

Going back to the above bird, it does look like there is quite a gap from the tip of the last grey primary to the tip of the first dark one, also there are only 3 visible dark primaries. It does look as though this could be a dropped feather particularly if one looks at the sum plum bird below where the gaps are pretty equal and there are four visible dark primaries. Click on the images to enlarge.

It must also be said here that the head pattern does look quite interesting with quite a strong demarcation on the head, although there is flecking on the black area. This shot in flight though does give it that American bald headed look.

The last interesting thing about this bird is that it shows small dusky areas on both outer tail feathers, this can just be seen on the shot below. (click to enlarge). As mentioned earlier this is another feature of adult acuflavida.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More wind but this time some birds

Managed to get in on the Leach's action today.
These shots are of a bird seen from the shelter of the Brownsea Ferry Hut at Sandbanks, looking south. After initially being quite active this bird gradually spent longer and longer periods just sat on the water.

A second bird that was some way further into the harbour. You can just about see the pale covert band

Had a look in at Poole Park for more wafes and strays. However only a few locals around.

Back to Sandbanks for another look, no sign of any more Leaches.
Purps as tame as ever but light failing now

Friday, November 27, 2009

Redwing surprise

Started in pre-dawn darkness at Upton Heath to count the Carrion Crows coming out of the roost at the southern end of the Heath.
What was soon apparent was the regular calling of Redwing. As dawn broke flocks of 5-10 birds were moving, going west into the brisk west wind. By 07.30 the flocks were now 30 and 40 birds.
In total 1674 birds moved west till 08.45 with the largest flock over 90 birds. By now the sun was out and the below shot is a part of that 90 strong flock (click to enlarge)

The Carrion Crow count came to 278 birds. Later in the year these birds will be joined by Jackdaws and Rooks who are currently roosting at Stony Down plantation

With Spot Sands in Devon and Pants shire thought had better check the birds at Holes Bay.
First bird a standard 1st year bird with well marked tertials

The second bird was also a similarly marked 1st year bird.
The third bird however did provide a bit more interest as the tertials looked pretty plain.
Also is that a short tail? and the legs do look quite yellowy!

This second shot however reveals the tail to be pretty long. It also shows the tertials with thin lines of markings along the edges. It also has white tips to the coverts instead of the buff tips of the young birds and an overall less patterny appearance. All consistent with an adult Common Sand.

Just incase there are still any nagging doubts this flight shot sorts that out. The white wing bar carries almost to the body. On a Spot Sand it should bearly reach the secondaries

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

South Haven

South Haven at first light to see what birds coming in and out of harbour. 6 Divers went into harbour including a Black-throated and a Red-throated. 78 Shag also in. 3 Sandwich Tern out.
Also some vis mig occuring with 282 Goldfinch moving into the brisk southerly wind between 07.15 and 08.45.
Didnt have time for photos unless it was particularly slow moving

All a bit boring really

This was just before I got pelted with halestones

Whats this on the beach!

A Carrion Crow choughed with his find

This Crow carried these what look like some sort of fruit around for quite some time, not really sure what to do with them

This is what happens when you try and count Rooks