Festive Birds

The last ringing session of 2014 was at the South side of Bedfont Lakes and proved to be full of treats, for me the opportunity to ring 3 new species 🙂

We had been crossing our fingers for some redwing during the last session at this site however we were without luck. This session, however, we only had to wait a few minutes after putting the nets up before we caught not one but two! I apologise as I somehow did not manage to get a frontal shot of the redwings as I was too preoccupied with learning how to age these birds; we were lucky to get an adult and a juvenile (born 2014) which gave the opportunity for a nice comparison. Most notable are the white/cream markings on the tips of the tertial feathers and greater coverts which are much more distinct in the younger bird, seen on the left in these photos.

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Juvenile (left) and adult (right) redwing

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White/cream feather tips more distinct in the juvenile (left)

IMG_3754Here is a nice shot of a redwing on Hampton Common I took a few years a go to make up for the lack of frontal photo! Not a ‘close up’ but still shows how lovely these bird are.

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Redwing on Hampton Common 2011

Shortly afterwards we had another treat, a male and a female bullfinch – Mr and Mrs 😉

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Female bullfinch

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Male bullfinch

IMG_3760 IMG_3764After a couple of Robins by now we were joking that somehow the festive season must only be attracting birds with red markings – either that or it was my trainers bright red Santas hat reeling them in 😉 our suspisions were confirmed after this beast of a green woodpecker! One of my favourite birds and the study subject for my dissertation.

Green woodpecker

Green woodpecker

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And that was the end of my first year of bird ringing! It has been fantastic. I honestly feel privileged to have this experience and to work with such lovely and knowledgeable people. Looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings!

If you are interested in getting involved with bird ringing yourself then you can go to the BTO website to search for trainers in your area.

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