Sunday, 3 January 2016

Great British Bird Hunt - 2 new birds

I kick off the New Year with two brand new birds I've not seen before.

I was hoping to see Redwings when I went to Wales as they typically move around with flocks of Fieldfare, which I did see. Sadly, they eluded me and I thought my chance of seeing them ended there. Luckily, I got a call from my Aunty on January the 2nd saying she had a pair in her garden and would I like to see them. Normally I don't drop everything at the drop of a hat, but it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
The shots aren't the best as I was using a bridge camera, but I'm still happy with them. Rredwings are Scandinavian thrushes and a lot smaller than I was expecting. There were about 5 in total, but they were typically getting chase off by Blackbirds and proved to be quite timid. It's distinctive for a line above its eye and the red patches under its wings. Nearly 700,000 birds typically visit each year, but only a handful tend to breed.

The birds loved the ivy berries.

The white eye stripe is very distinctive.

Easily the best shot I took.

While we were looking for the Redwings I spotted a Blackcap but in my excitement couldn't get a good shot of it. We continued to look for another 20 minutes but the male didn't show. Just as I was leaving I followed what I thought was a Robin to the other side of the garden. I soon realised that it was a female and within seconds a male was with her too.
Blackcaps are migratory warblers, but more and more spend all year here. In the past I've heard them in hedgerows while out in the countryside (they have very melodious songs) but I've never spotted one long enough to get a photo. It's probably far too early for the birds to think about breeding, but they were certainly spending time together.

He's obscured by bushes but you can see the distinctive black cap.

Shot one of the female.

And a harsher crop. Would love to get one of these in my 600mm lens.

So that's all for this week. I'm not at 145 birds in total!