This morning we had a glorious ringing session in the sunshine at the South side of Bedfont Lakes Country Park. A bullfinch was heard a few days before so were hopeful – turns out we were in luck and this beautiful male was the star of the show!
We also caught a few whitethroats and greenfinches which was nice as we don’t tend to get them at the nature reserve around the other side. Also a few recently fledged blackcaps, great tits and blue tits. The blue tits definately rival the long-tails on the cuteness scale!
The juvenile blackcaps (both male and female) can be tricky as they initially appear similar to adult female blackcaps. A closer look at the undertail coverts and you can see these feathers are brown and ‘fluffy’ as apposed to the light grey, sleeker feathers of the adults. Their underparts are generally more fluffy and brown and they have a duller cap compared to the chestnut of the adult females. The juvenile males may have a few wisps of black in their brown caps, otherwise it is difficult to sex them at this stage.
In between ringing there was also a bit of invertebrate action with numerous cinnabar, brown silver-line and light brown apple moths, a couple of small tortoise shell and holly blue butterflies, a raft spider and my personal favourite this swollen-thighed beetle – reminds me of those track cyclists with the giant thigh muscles!