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.