19 Oct 2017

Fair Isle 2017. Day 3. The day of the thrushes.

Sunday dawned and I went on the first trap round of the day. It soon became obvious there had been a major fall of Redwings and other thrushes and we had to phone the Obs to bring more bird bags!
There were Redwings carpeting every area where they could shelter and feed.

Most of the birds  caught were of the Icelandic race coburni which were noticeably bigger and darker than the Scandinavian iliacus. Some were approaching Blackbird size and could be identified by their darker upperparts, denser red flanks with heavier streaking and buff in the supercillium. Many of the birds also had very dark undertail coverts. Catching a few Scandinavian birds allowed a good comparison.

Icelandic Redwing on the left - notice the heavier and darker streaking and the buff in the supercilium.

Undertail coverts of Icelandic Redwing.

Icelandic and Scandinavian Redwings - the Icelandic bird is on the right and has much darker and denser flank streakings and a richer, rustier red flank. 

These features can also be easily seen in the field! 

Apart form the big influx of thrushes there wasn't much new about.

Distance walked: 21.69 km 

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