dinsdag 26 juni 2012

Back from Britain

I returned home yesterday evening after a week's stay at Menzie in Liverpool. We had a great time and did lots of good stuff, less ringing than we'd wanted, but the weather conditions didn't allow us to do more. Highlights in short: the ringing of Manx Shearwaters, the Rose-coloured Starling twitch and the Little Swift of course!

On Sunday afternoon, we booked our first 'real' succes with the trap in the garden. After a Robin, four Feral Pigeons and 2 Grey Squirrels we got a Wood Pigeon in the trap. It was the 4th Wood Pigeon to be ringed in Menzie's garden in two weeks time, not a bad score!
Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus); I'll leave the in-depth analysis of the age to Menzie of course!

Sunday evening we headed to Woolston where we camped overnight. A ringing session was held the next morning. The ringing was nice; we ringed 5 Bullfinches, 2 Willow Tits, some Reed Buntings, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Wrens. There was a good amount of juvenile birds; good to know that some birds here still dealt fine with the horrendous weather the UK has had the past month. 

A purple pink sunset at Woolston.
 Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos ssp. clarkei); 2cy male of the British subspecies; the continental Song Thrushes are greyer on the upperparts (note the brown-cap of this bird) and have less buff on underparts than the British ones
 Willow Tit (Poecile montanus ssp. kleinschmidti); juvenile, the continental Willow Tits are supposed to be larger and greyer and paler than the British Willow Tits
 Robin (Erithacus rubecula ssp. melophilus); 1cy, never seen a (juv) Robin with such grey pinkish legs
 Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes ssp. indigenus); adult, the British birds should be darker and browner than the nominate. Though, I don't see a colour difference with a Continental Wren in the bird pictured above
 Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula ssp. pileata); 2cy male, the British birds are less brightly coloured and smaller than the nominate.
Wing of the Bullfinch: note the two retained old greater coverts, carpal covert and alula 1.

The information concerning the subspecies all comes from the article: Bird forms in Britain by Steve Gantlett from the paper Birding World, Volume 11, Number 6, 1998.

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