Saturday, July 04, 2009

Garden birds

We did a little light ringing this morning and caught a total of 25 birds (2 retraps) in one net.

It was most noticeable that we caught lots of Great Tits - nearly all juveniles - but only one Blue Tit, one that we'd ringed in February. Have they had a bad breeding season or were they just somewhere else?
  • Great Tit, 11 (+1 retrap)
  • Greenfinch, 5 (3 juveniles)
  • Chaffinch, 3
  • Goldfinch, 2 (1 juvenile)
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 juvenile
  • Whitethroat, 1 male
  • Blue Tit (a retrap from February)
It was interesting to see some moulting going on. This adult male Great Tit was a good example.

After a hard breeding season, he's growing some new head feathers...
Moulting Great Tit

and getting some new wings
Moulting Great Tit


Two of the juvenile Great Tits we caught showed the same 'fault bars' in their tail feathers. When their food supply was interrupted in the nest, the feathers stopped growing properly and that's visible now. Since the patterns were the same, I wonder if they were siblings? Who knows.

(Here's a photo of a young Sedge Warbler showing similar bars)

We caught what must be the male Whitethroat that arrived in April and has been singing ever since. That was nice. It'll be even better if someone else catches him on migration later in the year.

photos taken with Canon Powershot A640