Lets start with the escapee and when I saw it in the net, at a distance, I thought I had caught something unusual and in a roundabout way I had. At first I though it was a Lesser Redpoll with an aberrant plumage and then I saw the 'closed ring' and realised it was an escaped cage bird. On closer examination I began to suspect it was a cross between a Lesser Redpoll and Twite and when I got home a search of images on the internet seemed to confirm that. One site was quite disparaging of this particular hybrid saying there is little point in crossing these brown based birds other than achieving a hybrid or words to that effect. I thought it actually looked quite smart but as the saying goes there's no accounting for taste.
|Escaped Redpoll x Twite hybrid (or at least that is what I think it is) caught 10/10/2016|
|Escaped Redpoll x Twite hybrid caught 10/10/2016.|
Redwings moved through in good numbers on the 10th, 12th and 13th and those dates produced 169 of the 228 that were ringed over the course of the week. Redwings now top the ringing totals for the month and the year with 553 ringed since 3rd October. I have probably got enough photos to show the variation in the appearance of the coverts and the shape of the tail feathers and will put a post together on ageing them fairly soon. There is certainly more variation in the appearance of the greater coverts than the well known ageing guides describe or show and hopefully the photos will help to fill that gap. The images below are examples of the photos that will be used, one is a first year bird and the other is an adult (or at least I think so) but which is which and what did their tail feathers look like? I am not going to give the answers now so if you really want to know you will have to keep an eye on the blog.
|1cy female Sparrowhawk 12/10/2016|
|One of the other 'continental' Goldcrests caught during the week.|
This bird is even greyer around the head and nape.
|Another 13 Song Thrush were caught during the week including 6 on the 10th.|
All were of the greyer continental race T. P. philomelos like this bird.