Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wot no Marsh Tit?

Reed Bunting

Did a bit more ringing in the garden this morning. With a total of 37 birds caught (of which 8 were ones we'd ringed before), it wasn't one of our most impressive sessions.

A tactical error (of leaving a fat block out in the bush where the birds hang out) meant we had a slow start. Moving the fat block over to where the others feeders were sorted that out.

We even failed to catch a single Marsh Tit, when last time we'd caught one before we'd even finished putting the net up!

So the adult male Reed Bunting we did catch helped to make up for that disappointment. He's a nice example of feathers and how their wear affects a bird's appearance. See, all those browny-buff bits on his head will wear off in time for the breeding season. Like this. Weird as it seems, the Reed Bunting will look dapper once his feathers have worn away a bit more.

People get confused when they see birds that don't match exactly the illustrations or photos in their books. But feathers are constantly changing and wearing away, so birds hardly ever match the books. After all, nobody's told them what they're supposed to look like.

The scores on the doors:
  • Blue Tit, 10 (+ 7 we'd ringed before)
  • Great Tit, 8 (+1 retrap)
  • Chaffinch, 5
  • Greenfinch, 4
  • Dunnock, 1
  • Reed Bunting, 1
photos taken with Canon EOS 30D