Friday, 29 November 2019

A new ringed Grosbeak

After many, many days of gloom it was wonderful to have blue skies today. I used the day to walk the local area with the Beast in tow and hoped to find more Pine Grosbeaks (and who knows there may be a rare thrush out there eating berries aswell).

I only found Grosbeaks at the same site as where I had them yesterday but today there were 11 birds and most excitingly there was a ringed bird with them. I assumed that it would be the same bird discovered 5km away by Stig Johan on 12 Nov and which I photographed the next day but as I looked at the shots on the back of the camera I got a feeling that it was a different ring. I had to take over 400 pictures but once home I was able to make out the code although yet again I couldn’t quite make out what the address was although saw enough to deduce it was also from Finland.

I sent an email to the Finnish Ringing Centre and got an immediate response. The bird was ringed on 26.4.2017 1278km away in northern Finland and had broken the Finnish distance record for the species by 5km! It was ringed as an adult so would have been in at least its 3rd year meaning it is now at least in its 5th calendar year. A ringing recovery like this has no conservation value whatsoever (as regular readers of this blog will know I am skeptical to the majority of ringing that goes on) but is interesting and filled my time in an enjoyable (for me) way ūüėä.

deciphering the ring from 5 different photos. The ring NUMBER is easy to read but the the two lines with the address are very difficult to read - I have asked the Finns what is actually written there to see if I can reconcile with what I see.. The answer is that it says Museum Zool / Hki Finland.

April is around a month before the birds start breeding so we still don't know the origin of this bird. I would also think that Grosbeaks, like crossbills, are nomadic and might breed in very different areas from one year to the other

This is what an old male Pine Grosbeak looks like. This male was one of 4 in the flock and was noticeably deeper red in colour

another male biting into a berry to get to the seeds

the birds often flew to branches with snow which they ate (to get water) 
with snow on its bill after having "drunk"

the tongue is very important for finches when eating

there were other birds eating berries today. Here a female Blackbird (svarttrost)

and a Blue Tit (blåmeis)

and a Great Tit (kj√łttmeis) which has also removed the seed from the berry and is not interested in the flesh

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