Wednesday, 29 January 2014


This morning was spent with James Ewen trying to find a suitable spot to film Dippers (fossekall) underwater. We found three Dippers but have not necessarily yet found a suitable place to film. As always, it was a joy to watch these birds and today there was far more swimming than I have noted before with one bird in particular acting like a duck!

can you spot the Dipper?
In the garden the Blackbirds (svarttrost) seem to have called a truce with the 2cy male sharing the apples with the adult male and female although only for short periods of time. The female was particularly confiding and kept on feeding an apple when I went out to fill up the feeders. I returned with the camera and had to step back to get her within the close focus range. I have not tried to age females before as one has to look for more subtle differences than the males show. I have seen however that others report the age of females so thought I would see if I could age this bird. To me the flight feathers and particularly greater coverts look to be uniform in colour with no obvious retained juvenile feathers which should make this an adult.
female Blackbird

The greater covert feathers (outlined) all seem to be of a similar colour which means that they have all been moulted and the bird is therefore an adult. However the outermost greater covert does look to be far more pointed than the other feathers and has pale edges which may mean this feather is of a different generation and would therefore suggest the bird is a youngster. Not easy is it?

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