Friday, 20 December 2013

The predator

I have little time for birding in these festive times but a brief period of sunshine tempted me into a detour via the Botanical Gardens. THE berry tree which quite surprisingly still has a few berries on it was devoid of birds today but the park itself still held some interest. The two remaining Two-Bars were feeding high and exposed in a larch tree and actually in sunlight. I got the camera out but was distracted by alarming thrushes as a hawk crashed into a tree but failed to catch anything. The crossbills reacted very late and flew up in circles calling before landing a couple of hundred metres away. Judging by their obliviousness, until too late, of the hawk it is little surprise that they have been whittled down from 5 to 2 in the course of a month.

I had assumed based on size that the hunting hawk was a Sparrowhawk but 5 minutes later i had a perched young Goshawk (hønsehauk). Clearly a Goshawk on plumage and proportions whilst perched it then flew and looked remarkably small and Sparrowhawk like so I'll pass over on the identity of the first hawk.

1cy male Goshawk. Aged due to the vertical stripes on the underparts and brown plumage. Sexed on (small) size

The rest of the bird scene was made up of the usual suspects: a couple of Hawfinches and Chaffinches, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and 20 or so Fieldfares. The Blackbirds in the park are very used to people and I have noticed before that a couple are ringed. I got to see one very well today and could see it was Norwegian ringed. I have never seen anyone report ringing activities from the gardens but there are  ringers out there who unfortunately only report to the ringing authority and with the close proximity of the Natural History Museum and staff who undoubtedly have ringing licences I assume that the bird is actually ringed in the gardens.
this ringed Blackbird allowed very close approach but despite taking a number of photos I am not entirely wise as to the ring number. That it is a Norwegian einged bird can be ascertained by the fact that is says "STAVANGER MUSEUM" horizontally at the top of the ring but perhaps more tellingly because is says "NORWAY" vertically. I am not, at the time of writing, entirely sure how many digits this ring should have but from what I can make out it is "72451520".

the same bird. That it is a male Blackbird is not to be disputed but how old is it? There are brown tinges in the underparts and the flight feathers which point to it being a 1cy but the bill is very orange although does have a dark area on the upper mandible. From what I can read a 2cy at this time of the year (very soon to be a 3cy) should look like a full adult ie black feathers and no black on bill. This leads me to believe therefore that this bird is 1cy but a far more advanced bird than the one I pictured from two days ago.

I have, after posting these pictures, been told that a Norwegian ring used on a Blackbird would have 7 digits beginning with a 7. Well that means that my reading of 8 digits is wrong. Well, looking again I reckon it must be 7251520 with the 4 I thought I could see just a figment of my imagination. I'll report it and see if I get any more information.

No comments:

Post a Comment