Saturday, 14 February 2015

Glyn Davies Wood


This morning a ringing session took place at Glyn Davies Wood, an ancient remnant of woodland in the far west of Northamptonshire. About 120 birds were captured, the majority being common tits but also included a couple of Marsh Tits and a Willow Tit. Other birds processed included a Goldcrest, a handful of Long-tailed Tits and two Nuthatches. Other birds seen/heard in the wood included a redpoll sp, 1-2 Raven and another constantly singing Willow Tit.

Birding in the afternoon was quiet, but we popped in to Boddington Reservoir and saw seven Goosanders and at Ravensthorpe Reservoir we noted a couple of Kingfishers and six Golden Plovers flying over. Despite plenty of searching we couldn't find anything of note at the Pitsford Res gull roost this afternoon but the three White-fronted Geese were again by the Fishing Lodge this morning.

Harrington Airfield provided 15 Golden Plovers and a pair of Grey Partridge, and one of the pairs of Stonechat was visible at Blueberry Farm; a Barn Owl was near Spratton early morning.


Neil M

Carrion Crow

Marsh Tit and Willow Tit are notoriously
difficult to tell from each other, and sometimes
it is not much easier in the hand! For the record
the bird on the left is a Marsh Tit and the bird on the
right is a Willow Tit - honest!

Some of the features are not obvious in these images but
the shape and colour of the cheeks and crown, the shape
and markings of the bills and the extent of the chin spot
all help. The wing length of these two birds was identical
but in British birds the Marsh Tit generally has the longer
wing and although it's not obvious in these images the
Marsh Tit in the British race is colder-toned that the creamy
and warm tones of the British race Willow Tit. Both species
are much colder-toned in North Europe and the Willow Tit on the
continent is the colder-toned bird. The secondary feathers
of Willow Tits tend to show pale edging which produces a
panelling effect but this can also be exhibited to a lesser
extent by the Marsh Tit. Other features are more subtle or
only possible to see in the hand and without doubt a calling
or singing bird is the easiest way to identify this tricky duo!

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