Thursday, 18 February 2016

Sunny Thursday!


Chris Payne took advantage of the pleasant weather this morning and completed a fairly hectic ringing session down at Bradden in rustic South Northants. He processed 78 birds made up of 36 Blue Tits, 17 Great Tits, 4 Coal Tits, a Marsh Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Nuthatches, 2 Robins, a Blackbird, a Dunnock, a Greenfinch, 5 Chaffinches and 4 Goldfinches. Other birds in the near vicinity included two Ravens sparring with the local Common Buzzards.

Neil Hasdell was over at Summer Leys Local Nature Reserve at Earls Barton and connected with a female Scaup near Gull Island, a drake Goosander, the wintering female Stonechat still, a Cetti's Warbler, two Shelduck, three Egyptian Geese, two Redshank and two Peregrines.

A male Brambling was in our garden at Hanging Houghton again today and Cathy Ryden enjoyed watching a male Siskin for it's second day in her garden at Guilsborough. At this time of the year garden feeders can expect to attract scarcer birds as natural food is virtually spent. Redpolls and Siskins should join the garden Goldfinches and Reed Buntings and the odd Yellowhammer can begin joining in with the more regular Chaffinches and sparrows (if you are lucky enough to have sparrows). Niger seed and sunflower hearts in suspended feeders attracts the smaller finches, Chaffinches like mixed seed broadcast on the ground, Reed Buntings take small seeds on the ground (with a particular liking for Red Millet) and Yellowhammers tend to like bigger seeds and grain also presented on the ground or in grain hoppers.

Jacob Spinks saw a drake Smew in the Holcot Bay at Pitsford Reservoir this morning (plus some Siskins) and later in the day he enjoyed an excursion over to Daventry Country Park where he spotted the drake Green-winged Teal that has been present for a little while, plus two Kingfishers, more Siskins and a small flotilla of Goosanders.

The lone Ruddy Shelduck was in the vicinity of the Sailing Club at Pitsford Reservoir this evening, and just a single Little Egret was by the causeway.


Neil M

Marsh Tit at Bradden

Courtesy of Chris Payne

Coot on sunlit water
Hollowel Reservoir

Coot versus Moorhen...

Pied Wagtail

Adult male Blackbird.
The all black glossy plumage,
broad tail feathers, bright orange bill and
eye-ring all help to age this as a
bird hatched sometime before 2015.

Adult male Chaffinch. This bird too
was hatched before 2015. The tertial
feathers are broad and rounded with a
thick chestnut band to the edges, the primary
and secondary tips show little or no
wear, the black of the primary coverts
are almost as dark as the greater coverts
and the tail feathers are well-rounded and
in good condition. Continental male
Chaffinches tend to be pinker on the
underside (like this one) whereas more local
birds tend to be a brick red/pink, but
there is much variation.

The above five images are all
courtesy of Cathy Ryden.

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