7th November (mainly) – another day at Durlston and a local twitch.   2 comments

Again, the week from the 4th to the 11th of November has been affected by wind and rain. I managed to make a short visit to Holton Lee on the 4th where I ringed or retrapped a nice selection of woodland birds. As this is now the 3rd winter we have operated there, I am getting some interesting data on site fidelity and longevity of the woodland birds.

On the 7th several of us had a very successful visit to Durlston (see below) but strong winds prevented further ringing later in the week. Margaret and I joined our friends from the Phoenix (previously Nexus) organisation for a meal on the 6th and we had a very pleasant get together with our birding friends on the 7th.


Bonfire Night used to be celebrated just on the 5th of November, the date in 1605 when Guy Fawkes was caught attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament, as part of a Catholic plot to assassinate the Protestant King James. These days fireworks are set off anytime between late October and mid November, which sort of ruins the whole idea of Bonfire Night being a date where we celebrate an historic event. We didn’t go to any displays this year, I just watched a few fireworks in a neighbour’s garden.


Some birds ringed at Durlston this week. Goldfinches are present in large numbers as they migrate to Europe for the winter. On the 7th we trapped 158 of them. The deep red on the head indicates that this is an adult, and the extension of red behind the eye, that it is a male.


The wing of the same bird. Lack of contrast between the greater and primary coverts, the reduced brown fringing to the lesser coverts and bright yellow in the remiges confirm that this is an adult bird.


Female Goldcrests show no orange/gold in the crown whatsoever.


On the other hand, a female Firecrest shows a limited amount of orange, but nothing like the stunningly bright crown of a male.


A male Bullfinch.


The wing of the same bird. The outer two greater coverts are unmoulted, and the brown-fringed unmoulted carpal covert (just below the tip of my thumb) show that this is a first year bird.


Later on the 7th I went over to Studland to look for an immature Surf Scoter that had been found by my friend Paul Morton. This American duck occurs in the UK in very small numbers every year. I have seen 15 before in Britain, 4 in Dorset but this is my first one in the Poole Harbour area. Note the stout Eider like bill, the two pale patches on the head, which distinguishes it from Common Scoter and the lack of white in the wing which separates it from Velvet Scoter.

Posted November 12, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “7th November (mainly) – another day at Durlston and a local twitch.

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  1. I should like to request all of these birds when we (hopefully) ring next week.

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