Thursday, 17 March 2011

Have you noticed

British Chaffinch (left), Continental Chaffinch (right), Lesser Redpoll (front)

Have you noticed the difference between British and Continental Chaffinches? At this time of year they are at their most obvious. The British breeding males are peachy orange, slighter in structure, and have already started to stake their claim on a territory. The slightly larger Continental Chaffinches are deeper salmon pink colour in colour, and generally duller overall.

In the next few weeks the Continental birds will head back north and east, leaving the British birds in peace. British Chaffinches have been found (thanks to ringing data) to be incredibly sedentary. They generally don't move more than about five miles from where they were raised. Is Britain that good?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New or old?

Instructive views of the Meadow Lane, Bedford, Coues' Arctic Redpoll over the last three days. The angle you view a bird at can be critical to getting the correct impression of it. When I initially saw it from underneath, and against a bright sky, it looked 'interesting' but far from conclusive (and of course all too fleeting). The next day, with better light and more prolonged views, looking down on the bird, really clinched the deal. Well done Martin Palmer for finding it and putting the word out.

The images above also give false impressions - the last image for instance makes it look like it has a long, spikey bill - compare that image with the one above!

After looking at these images this evening, and comparing them to the recent Coronation bird of last month, I do wonder if they are the same individual? They are incredibly similar...take a look for yourself:

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Caspian Gull

Second calendar year Caspian Gull, Stewartby Lake, 6th March 2011. Only the second Caspo seen so far this year in Beds.

Med Gulls

Two Mediterranean Gulls, Stewartby Lake, 6th March 2011

Related Posts with Thumbnails