Sunday, 20 January 2013

Brambling highlights trickle of cold weather movement

Heysham Obs
A male Brambling was by the feeder next to the office mid-morning.  Interesting Twite paper in R & M begs the question as to whether there are biometrical differences between the most southerly and most northerly Scottish birds.  Need to  analyse our wing-lengths, but 'impressions' have always been that rather a low proportion of males and females can be clearly separated on wing length compared to e.g. Linnet and that surely cannot be due to a higher proportion than we thought of smaller Pennine birds 'muddying' the issue as this would surely have manifested itself in more Pennine captures/Pennine ringed birds caught here?  If there is a variation throughout the Scottish range, would this explain our rather indeterminate data as 'our' birds seem to originate from anywhere between Lochinver and Sanda?

Lots of uncooperative Pink-feet in difficult-to-watch fields to the north of Heysham Moss this morning (thanks Janet for alerting me but unfortunately the 'easy' ones were flushed)

North harbour wall
Concentrated on distant offshore for 20 mins
Eider - 91
Red-throated Diver - 1
Great-crested Grebe - 3
Twite - 101 max count, inc green/white both legs Machrihanish bird,12+unringed
Goldfinch - 4
Linnet - none

Eastern boundary fields
Mistle Thrush - 6
Fieldfare - 13
Redwing - 1
Woodpigeon - flock of 55

Hey NR office area
Brambling - male
Redwing - 1

Grey Seal - 1 inshore