female Great Spotted Woodpecker
Long Tailed Tit
Male Bullfinch (cheeky in hand shot)
A couple of tits and the occasional Raven overhead just didn't fulfil my birding quota, so I thought I'd make a trip to Bangor harbour. The weather was literally awful, as was the light so the few photos I managed to take with my phone and binoculars (phone-binning?) were almost embarassing!
On the walk down to the harbour, a 'takking' caught my attention, and a female Blackcap brightened up a very miserable day. Also in the same area were atleast 5 Goldcrest (I checked for Firecrest, but no joy)
The playing field by the front held a small flock of Oystercatcher and Redshank forced onto land by the high tide, aswell as a couple of Jackdaw*.
Little else was seen on my journey into the harbour itself except a single Turnstone, plus an adult shag and 4 Little Grebe (one in full summer plumage) feeding on the calm water.
*One of the 2 Jackdaw seen showed a definite pale collar at the base of the ear coverts, which definitly suggested there is some sign of 'Nordic' influence. The collar was obviously present, but wasn't especially striking like you would expect on a pure bird. I suppose this could suggest hybridisation with a Nordic and one of 'our' birds. It could also just be an abberant individual showing uncharacteristic variation. I will try and get some decent pictures of the bird when the weather improves, but for now, I remain unsure
Above - 'grey' Varied Thrush, Nanquindo, Cornwall. November 1982(John Miller)
This comment was posted during the middle of the fighting and I noted it, thinking is was an excellent point.
There have been several bird that have turned up that have appeared almost perfect candidates for vagrant birds, but have shown characteristics not regularly seen on classic individuals of that species.
The Varied Thrush that turned up in Cornwall is a great example of this. The pale morph bird that turned up showed a very very rare plumage in this species, yet the only British record (the only European record) was of this morphological variant.
You have to ask the question could this variance could well have something to do with their reason for vagrancy?
I don't exactly have the answer, but I suppose one of the reasons I can think of is that these individuals are outcast from their population so are almost forced to relocate, this could cause their migratory range to increase dramatically which could therefore force them to venture across seas and oceans in search of new habitat.
I am studying Zoology with Animal Behavior at university currently, so I suppose I could look further into this matter as my course progresses.
For now, I hope someone reading this has a simple answer, or has somebody got the guts to tell me that staying in my room revising has got the better of me and I'm talking utter nonsense!
*Also brought to my attention by John Miller is the 'long-billed' Siberian Thrush, the first British record on the Isle of May, Fife in 1954'. At the time, this was a first for Britain and is it just a coinsidence that it happened to be an 'unusual' individual?