Brent Goose 1 appearing to land in top fields
Stock Dove 4E
Pied Wagtail 4
Long-tailed Tit 10
Goldfinch c.400E Brambling h Redpoll h Siskin h
Short-toed Treecreeper in the Old Trapping Area (John Cooper)
One of JFC's superb images showing the long billed appearance, brown fore-supercilium, off-white rear supercilium, dark brown forecrown, rather plain mantle with patterning virtually restricted to pale shaft streaks, white throat contrasting with greyish-washed breast and brownish-suffused flanks and isolated white spots at the tips of the primaries. In an attempt to compare critical detail the wing has been photographed off the monitor and shown below:
Beachy (left), Short-toed Treecreeper (centre) and Common Treecreeper (right)
(Italics comparing to JFC's image of the Beachy individual)
Pink: the pale pattern on the alula is usually more extensive on the outer web on Common than on Short-toed, but there is considerable overlap. On the birds above, it’s not really working.
(Complete narrow pale fringe to alula visible on JFC's image)
Blue: this is quite possibly the most important feature and the one most likely to be assessed without a photograph to analyze. The pale bars on primaries 6, 7, and 8 (counted from outside towards the center of the wing) overlap to almost equal extend in Common, forming a “stairway”. In Common, there is considerable overlap between primaries 7 and 8, but almost none between 6 and 7, forming a large right-angled blackish “corner” on the folded wing. Note also that the border of the pale bar towards the tip forms a more prominent saw pattern in Short-toed compared to Common.
('Stairway' a very close matchlacking the right-angled blackish 'corner'. Perhaps just as important are the shape of the tips of the pale bars being particularly saw-toothed at the tips)
Red: A small pale spot is usually present on the fourth primary in Common, but often lacking in Short-toed.
(Position of outermost bar a neat fit with Short-toed Treecreeper)
Green: the dark wing bar below the pale wing bar on the secondaries is quite evenly broad in Short-toed, but less well-defined and narrowing towards the primaries in Common.
(Dark wingbar clearly consistently broad and not narrowing)
Yellow: the visible spacing of the primaries 6 to 8 is rather even in Short-toed, but more uneven in Common, with the tip of p7 being very close to p8, and a big step between p6 and p7. This is sadly not visible on the pictures above due to an unfavourable angle on both pictures.
(If anything, the pale tips to the primaries appear even more isolated than that of the Short-toed Treecreeper)
There are more features on the wings, e.g. regarding the exact shape of the pale primary tips and the contrasts between the outer & inner web and the tip of the largest tertial.
(Inner web of the largest tertial clearly dark and therefore hardly contrasting with the outer web)
Being of the closest of the forms B.c. megarhyncha of Short-toed Treecreeper to the south coast of the UK it is reassuring the individual photographed at Liege, Belgium proves a very close match. It is interesting to compare the many striking similarities including most-importantly the long-billed appearance of both individuals, thenarrowing tips to the pale bars being pointed (saw-toothed) at the tips (more rectangular on Common),theconsistently broad dark wingbar, thedark inner web of the longest visible tertial andtheisolated white tips to the primaries lacking white hook-backs. In addition, the contrastingly white throat is striking on both birds as are the similarities of the near-identical pattern, colouration of and streaking to the crown, the shape and colouration of the supercilium, strength and width of the eye-stripe, patterning to the ear-coverts, colouration of and patterning to the mantle, the shape of the pale tip to thealula and colouration and pattern of the tail with regard to both the darker shafts of the longest tail feathers and in darkening distally on both individual.
Little Egret 1 Lanner 1
Merlin 1 Short-eared Owl 1
Golden Plover 1
Stock Dove 28 W
Pied Wagtail 10E
Wheatear 1 Dartford Warbler 3
Reed Bunting 3W
Brambling 4 Redpoll 31W Siskin h
Little Egret at Birling (JFC)
Lanner at Birling (JFC)
Failing to see Bob Smith's superb Bluethroat this huge Falcon attempting to bring down an adult Herring Gull in front of us at Birling proved bird of the day!
Falconer at Birling (JFC)
Whatever it was that the falconer was trying to tempt the Falcon with was clearly proving far less appetising than the local Herring Gulls as the Falcon appeared to pay no attention as it sped off towards Cornish Farm hotly pursued by the falconer in his vehicle!
Little Egret 3
House Martin c.500
Pied Wagtail 35E Tree Pipit 1 Ring Ouzel 2
Song Thrush 2
Skylark c.25E, c.30 in field Dartford Warbler 6+
Goldfinch c.350 E
Siskin 10 + h
Redpoll 1 + h
Common Buzzard 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
House Martin 100 Ring Ouzel 10
Song Thrush 6 Dartford Warbler h
Goldcrest 3 Brambling 2h
Goldfinch 100 Redpoll 5h
Siskin 2 plus others heard
Jackdaw at Beachy
The narrow pale collar on its lower neck and its slightly paler grey mantle and underparts contrasting with its deep black crown, throat and wings are features associated with 'Nordic' Jackdaw C.m. monedula. However, for a discussion of 'Eastern' Jackdaws and the difficulties posed by the intergrade issue see: http://calidris.home.xs4all.nl/jackdaw.htm
Golden Plover 1W
Sand Martin 1
Pied Wagtail 45E
Song Thrush 1
Blue Tit c.40 with small parties moving off high inland Continental Coal Tit 2 Siskin h
Continental Coal Tit at Birling
Whilst finding a Yellow-browed Warbler yesterday was nice, I was no less pleased that these Continental Coal Tits had remained in situ since my parents found them on Tuesday 29th September. Whilst that might reflect my own interest in scarce forms, it probably also reflects there having been three times the number of Yellow-browed Warblers than Continental Coal Tits seen at Beachy since 2000 and these being the first Continental Coal Tits I've seen since 2008 - there have only been two seen at Beachy in the intervening period. Whilst ageing and sexing in the field would appear difficult, the pointed tail feathers just about visible above would indicate a first year and the glossy black cap, jet-black throat and broad white nape-patch are all consistent with it being a male.