Redwings are fairly easy to age in the main but some are more of a challenge and a few seem to be down right confusing. This is because there is more variation in the salient features (greater coverts, tertials and tail) than the standard guides show and that is where some of the confusion lies, or at least I think so. I probably get to see more of this variation than most ringers so I have been taking photographs of their wings and tails, when there has been time, and will put together a post on the subject when I have gathered enough suitable material. So no images of Redwings today but plenty showing their wings and tails to come.
Goldcrest was the next most numerous species in the nets with 21 caught yesterday and another 28 today. One of today's birds was a control and had been ringed at Oxmoor, near Runcorn, about 17km south of Billinge, when on passage last October. The first obviously 'continental' Goldcrest was caught yesterday followed by two more today. Some 'continental' Goldcrests really stand out and are noticeably paler and brighter than our own birds. They are much greyer around the head and have a brighter green mantle and make our birds look a bit grubby by comparison. Good examples like the one in the image below are thought to originate from quite a long way east. A bit more reading on this can be found by clicking here.
|'Continental' Goldcrest 09/10/2016. Well marked birds like this are thought to have a more easterly origin.|
|The 'continental' Goldcrest on the left is clearly that bit brighter and is much greyer around the head and neck. Also the mantle is greener and brighter. Generally a cleaner looking bird.|
|Today's Yellow-browed Warbler was a female based on wing and tail measurements, as was the previous bird.|
Ringing totals for 08/10/2016 were: Goldcrest 21; Blue Tit 3, Great Tit 2; Coal Tit 1; Chiffchaff 1; Blackcap 1; Blackbird 2; Song Thrush 2; Redwing 78; Chaffinch 1; Lesser Redpoll 1. Total 113 new birds.
Ringing totals (control in brackets) for 09/10/2016 were: Goldcrest 27 (1); Blue Tit 2; Great Tit 3; Coal Tit 1; Yellow-browed Warbler 1; Chiffchaff 1; Blackcap 1; Song Thrush 2; Redwing 74; Robin 1; Chaffinch 3; Bullfinch 1; Lesser Redpoll 1; Siskin 1. Total 119 new birds and 1 control.