dinsdag 13 december 2011

Auch, a Jay!

The past two weeks the weather has been great for seawatching...! But not for ringing birds! Abundance of rain and wind make it unpleasant to be out ringing birds. Still, I had a ringing session in my garden on last week's Monday resulting in 5 Blue Tits, 1 Chaffinch and 2 Greenfinches.
Greenfinch, 1cy female. This individual from last week shows the same pattern in the primaries as a 1cy female Greenfinch I ringed yesterday. 
You can see that P6,P7 and P8 have been moulted, but that the rest of the primaries have been retained. Note the difference in yellow of the shafts of P6-8 with the rest of the primaries. So the two Greenfinches I ringed lately both showed eccentric primary moult, which is interesting because it doesn't happen that often

Yesterday 12-12-11 I ringed the following:

Blue Tit 2 - 2
Greenfinch 1 -
House Sparrow 1 -
Jay 1 -

Total of 7 birds

The Jay was a long-awaited new species to be ringed in the garden. While I was watching the garden from my attic I saw it bump into the net! I ran downstairs as fast as I could and I succesfully extracted the bird from the net.The Jay was - as always with the cuties - very aggressive and made sounds as if I was slaughtering the bird. All the neighbourhood birds decided to check what was going on! I guessed all the birds wouldn't be coming back for a while after hearing and seeing what was going on, haha!
Adult Jay, based on the neat striping on the alula feathers, primary coverts and the greater coverts and by the fact that the outer GC has more than 8 stripes. In addition the bird showed squared like tailfeathers, which is a pointer for an adult bird too.

Yesterday afternoon we also went to see a Red-crested Pochard on Bussloo, which was a county tick for me! Sunday we had difficulties with finding it, but yesterday we succeeded. What a beautiful duck! Furthermore, a hybrid Ferruginous Duck X Tufted Duck has been present there for a while.
 The male Red-crested Pochard with its brother, the Common Pochard (Photo by Tammo Meijer)
On the left a female Pochard, and on the right the hybrid Ferruginous Duck. Almost looks like a real Ferruginous... (Photo by Tammo Meijer)

zondag 4 december 2011

Time for a regional rarity again

This morning it was time for some birdwatching again. The past days the weather has been terrible but the weather for the coming days isn't promising neither.. Anyway, this morning it was dry and Tammo and me decided to head off to the IJssel, to the Veenoordkolk near Deventer where Theo van Veenendaal had discovered two Snow Buntings on Tuesday. This is always a good (say rare!) bird inland. As the birds could be anywhere along the edge of the pool where it had been sighted we decided to split up. I went around left and Tammo went around right. Soon I flushed the bunting, on the southside of the Veenoordkolk. Cool! It showed really well, and it came as close as 2 metres distance. I quickly gave a call to Tammo and spreaded the news on our local bird alerts group. It's my second observation of this species in my county (saw one at the same place three years ago). And last year I saw one just outside my county on the Veluwe. So that makes three in total.
Snow bunting's aren't that cooperative when foraging - always keeping their head down - which makes photographing them quite an competition. From the many shots I kept a few good ones. See the results below:
My best shot of the Snow Bunting
And some other shots. We aged this individual as an adult female because of the fresh white fringing on the primaries and the broad shaped tailfeathers. It's a female because of the overall brownish colouration, with for example a brown rump.
 Look for the bird!
Tammo in action

While we were busy with the bird Maarten Kaales called us saying he would be coming to, to see the bird. After we had seen the bird we checked some other parts of the Veenoordkolk and just when we were about to leave, to go to my cousin's birthday Maarten arrived, so we could explain to him precisely where we had seen the Bunting a couple of minutes ago. While we drove back on the highway we passed the Veenoordkolk and we could see that Maarten was already busy with photographing the Bunting as he was laying next to the Bunting in the mud, good work Maarten;)!