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