Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Happy Sveriges nationaldag

It was Sweden's national day today; I celebrated by wearing a Swedish football shirt and by actually catching some birds in the lighthouse garden... 25 in all (totals online — click Ringing). We caught one new species for the year, this Goldfinch:

It's a 2cy male. Ageing is easy; it has retained four juvenile greater coverts and a couple of median coverts.

Sexing is straightforward on this bird, too; the solid red 'mask' with a clear extension of colour behind the eye and plenty of red on the chin coupled with black 'nasal feathering' show the bird to be a male. Wing length (83 mm) supported that conclusion — it's worth nothing that Goldfinches here are slightly bigger than those of the British race; indeed, for me to catch a bird with a wing of 83 at home would be unusual, but it's apparently quite normal here.

The kids struck at Nabben with an adult Rose-coloured Starling but sadly it was never seen again. They did it again later with a Black Kite further up the peninsula — a kite sp. (which appeared to not be a Red Kite) flying south past the lighthouse an hour or so later was probably the same bird but we were bothering House Martins at the time; we got a split-second view as the bird disappeared behind the golf buildings and, by the time we'd put the net down and made our way to somewhere with a better view, the bird was well gone.

(Common) Starlings are starting to flock on the golf course and we managed to catch 11 of them as they visited the patch of bushes north of the lighthouse — the juveniles would wait in the bushes to be fed by the adults.
This is actually a retrap caught in the lighthouse garden, a 2cy female — it was originally ringed as a nestling last year.

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