Thursday, 22 January 2015

More darkbirds

Today’s birding gave a rather meagre payback for my efforts and it was only in the garden whilst enjoying a coffee at the kitchen window that there was anything of interest and that is also stretching things quite a bit. The interest? Blackbirds of course.

I had in total 16 birds in the garden today with 3 being new: a male with a yellow rather than orange bill without any black, a new 2cy male and a new black-billed female (3 seen together). I also worked myself to the conclusion that the bird I have been uncertain about is a well-marked (old) female rather than a 2cy male. So today’s total was 10 males (3 without black, 2 2cy and 5 with some black on bill) and 6 females (shorty, reddy, 3 black-billed and the dark bird with yellow bill tip).
I have now seen a minimum of 17 individuals in the garden and the only bird I didn’t see today was the female with an orange lower mandible which I have only seen on 15 Jan although I am also quite sure that there must be more than the 5 males with black on the bill as this is just the max number I have seen together at one time.

This new bird with a virtually unmarked yellow bill (rather than orange). Note that it has paler primary feathers which according to some sources indicates a 2cy although the coverts all seemed to be of the same generation and were dark. I have noticed paler primaries on other birds that are without doubt adults so it is the coverts that are the important feathers to look at.
The other new bird is definitely a 2cy though with a bill with a lot of dark markings, paler feathers on the belly and brown wing including covert feathers.

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