26 Jan 2016


A few Siskins have turned up on the garden feeders along with a couple of Redpolls. Not as big an influx as a couple of years ago but a small flock of about 6-8 birds. I've ringed a few over the last week or so and its noticeable that, since the short cold snap, Blackbird numbers have built up with up to 6 in the garden together.

 Female Siskin above. Male below.
 2nd calendar year siskin (Euring 5 ) showing moult contrast in greater coverts
 2nd calendar year Siskin showing tail feather shape - pointed and worn in this age group (unless they've lost their tail and regrown / moulted it for some reason).

Male Siskin  - stunning little finches

Siskins are pretty little finches but nothing compares to an adult male Lesser Redpoll with its flaming red poll and red breast. One of the Redpolls ringed was an adult male.

Of the Blackbirds caught and ringed one male had its hind toe missing from its left leg. The birds were pretty hefty with wing lengths and weights suggesting they maybe Scandinavian birds.

Another good bird and a good continuity record, was the male Sparrowhawk  ringed in 2013, that  I  re-caught just before Christmas and again last week.

I'm taking part in the 2016 patch challenge again and working the 'patch' around my house of around 3 square km. The best bird so far has been a Short-eared Owl flushed from a marshy area that sometimes holds Snipe! The arable land and pasture making up most of the patch is saturated and the mild weather means there have been no large mixed flocks of finches and buntings.

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