TonyQ

TonyQ's Year (A beginner's tale)

440 posts in this topic

@@michael-ibk

Thank you.

It was the first time I have seen Barnacle Geese. Apparently a large number of Barnacle Geese spend the winter in the UK - particularly in Scotland. A smaller number live here all year (I had to look that up!)

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Enjoying your Photographic year @@TonyQ. The buzzard's re-colonisation of central England is a wonderful success story caused just by a reduction in persecution.I remember birdwatching with my dad about 25 years ago and just starting to see the occasional one now we have a pair in the field behind us and would expect to see a buzzard on every trip!

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Had never realised that lapwings had that lovely iridescent colouring on their wings.

 

You had me momentarily thinking lapworth was a species!

 

Looks like that beautiful wren was putting on a song for you or was it a warning call?

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@@TonyQ, gorgeous, who,d have thought such prolific bird activity was going on in Birmingham. A 10g wren, that is tiny, obviously a big attitude though, looking at your photos.

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Had no idea there were Canada geese in the UK thanks for that little tidbit.

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@@Towlersonsafari

Thank you - it is very heartening to see the Buzzard recovering

@@dlo

You are welcome!

@@elefromoz

Thank you - I have been surprised at how many birds it is possible to see within the city (it does have a lot of green space) and just beyond. We are enjoying finding out.

@@Caracal

Thank you. I think (but I am not expert) the Wren was proclaiming its territory - it was singing very loudly rather than telling us off, and was displaying

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As I am discussing Wrens, I am going to put in another photo which I took the other day - just because I am pleased with it :)

 

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Upton Warren, Worcestershire 20.04.2016

 

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43. Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

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Male, Upton Warren, Worcestershire 17.04.2016

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Male, Upton Warren, Worcestershire 17.04.2016

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Female, Upton Warren, Worcestershire 17.04.2016

Greenfinch do visit our garden but I have yet to get a good picture of them there.

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44. Marsh Tit Poecile palustris

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On Feeder, Sandwell Valley, West Midlands 13.04.2016

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45. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

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Brandon Marsh, nr Coventry 10.04.2016

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Making sure fish is dead

Marsh Lane, nr Solihull 01.04.2016

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Fish ready to eat

Marsh Lane, nr Solihull 01.04.2016.

For a long time I have liked Great Crested Grebe, but had never seen a Little Grebe before the sighting in 1st April. It seems really characterful and fascinating to watch.

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46. Pochard Aythya ferina

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Sandwell Valley, West Midlands 17.03.2016

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Sandwell Valley, West Midlands 13.04.2016

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47. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

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Shire Country Park, Birmingham 09.04.2016

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Shire Country Park, Birmingham 09.04.2016

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With frog

Shire Country Park, Birmingham 09.04.2016

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Shire Country Park, Birmingham 09.04.2016

 

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48. House Sparrow Passer domesticus

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Lapworth 03.04.2016

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Shire Country Park, Birmingham 21.04.2016

When I was young, living in a very inner-city area the birds I was most aware of were pigeons and sparrows. Both were very common, but while pigeons still are common, House Sparrows are quite a rare sight in the city.

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49. Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula

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Male, Upton Warren, Worcestershire 17.04.2016

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Female, Our garden, Birmingham 28.03.2016

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50. Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla

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Male, Moseley Bog, Birmingham 14.04.2016

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Male, Moseley Bog, Birmingham 14.04.2016

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Male, Moseley Bog, Birmingham 14.04.2016

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Female, Upton Warren, Worcestershire 17.04.2016

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Some beautiful photos @@TonyQ!

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@@TonyQ never heard of a marsh tit before! I agree with the sparrow comment, I have yet to see one in our garden and we have been here over three years. I have seen them in the surrounds though.

 

I really like the first pochard shot

 

If you want a greenfinch in the garden shot, may I suggest sunflower hearts?

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Really like the Marsh Tit and Bullfinch we are lucky to have about 3 pairs of the latter come to the garden.Apparently there was a German Victorian craze for training fledglings to whistle a tune! Ravens are slowly following buzzards West! But what I am interested to know is where else in the UK are you planning to go to extend your list!

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More fantastic birds! I really like this thread as I am able to learn about our domestic birds English names. BTW, I was told weather in UK is almost always rain and drizzle??!!

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Interesting about the rareness of Sparrows - they are abundant here in Austria, and often fly on our terrace to take a bath even. OTOH, we only very rarely see Bullfinches - as a matter of fact just once so far. Are you sure about the Marsh Tit? I find it extremely difficult to tell it apart from the Willow Tit, but my bird book states that Willow Tits cheeks are completely white (as in your photo) whereas the Marsh Tit´s cheeks would be more of a washed-out brown (only) close to the nape.

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@@TonyQ and @@michael-ibk

What kind of bird book are you using? I need to get one for this part of Europe.

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@@xelas

 

My version wouldn´t be of much help for you, it´s a German one. "Der Kosmos Vogelführer" by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström. I like it.

 

But I suppose this is the original, English version:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birds-Europe-Second-Princeton-Guides/dp/0691143927/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1461484739&sr=8-10&keywords=svensson+mullarney

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@@Peter Connan

Thank you

@@Tdgraves

I had never heard of a Marsh Tit before this year either!

@@Towlersonsafari

Thank you. I didn't know that about Bullfinches. We have no specific plans for the UK at the moment - we are still exploring local places that we didn't know existed!

 

@@xelas

I really like this thread as I am able to learn about our domestic birds English names.

I am learning a lot of English names as well :)

 

BTW, I was told weather in UK is almost always rain and drizzle??!!

I you get more rain in Llubljana than we get in Birmingham - but you also get more sunshine! MrsQ says that it never rains in Scotland (except sometimes at night) B)

 

We have some very old bird books - a "Collins:Birds of Britain and Europe" from 1972 so some things are out of date

We have just got RSPB Handbook of British Birds (2014) which has a page for each species - but probably not much use where you are!

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@@michael-ibk

It is interesting where some species are common or uncommon.

 

The Marsh Tit.

"Are you sure about the Marsh Tit?" Absolutely (Not)

(If you had told me a few months ago that I would be spending so long considering the features of a little bird, I would have laughed.)

One of our books says of the two species "They pose one of the classic identification challenges and even experts cannot tell them apart"

It also says that the WIllow Tit is the most recent British breeding species to be recognised - it was only separated from the Mash Tit at the end of the 19th Century.

Interestingly on the cheeks, our RSPB Handbook of British Birds says for Marsh Tits "Cheeks appear whiter and contrast more with the grey-brown neck than those of the Willow Tit". I think to complicate things further, you have a different race to the one that we have!

Song and behaviour are supposed to be easier to differentiate, but I only saw it for about a minute, and the WIllow Tit is supposed to have a paler wing panel (but we can't see a wing panel on my photo!)

The final feature from my books is that Marsh Tits are more likely to come to bird feeders and bird tables than the Willow Tit, and my photo was taken at a feeder.

 

I have been looking at this more closely because we were watching a bird yesterday (and have some bad photos) which is either a WIllow Tit or a Marsh Tit - and we are trying to identify it! (And it didn't make any noise)

 

So it is difficult, and I am very much a beginner - but would still go with Marsh Tit (but could be persuaded :) )

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I think for what it is worth it is a Marsh Tit having looked at your picture and then at my birdbook! It's cap looks glossy and the bib looks right! My father told a story of being excited from a wood whilst looking for willow tits even then a rarely seen bird - he had strayed too near a naturist holiday camp! Well that was his story....

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51. Willow Tit Poecile montanus

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Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire 23.04.2016

 

I decided to put this in now as we were discussing Marsh Tit/WIllow Tit. The pale panel on the wing is visible on the next two photos, which (I think!) helps to identify it as a Willow Tit

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Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire 23.04.2016

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Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire 23.04.2016

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