Things became quite wintery this afternoon with cold air arriving behind a weather front that passed through mid-afternoon; my resting bird count at the harbour road had a distinctly wintery feel to it too — at least from a British point of view! The best bird for me, though seemingly not all that exciting by Falsterbo terms, was this Great Grey Shrike that I found moving around the trees along the harbour road:
Barnacle Goose have arrived in force; there were a thousand or so around the pools and at least the same again passing over.
It's my suspicion that the photo above shows three different ages of bird — the back bird is a 1cy (juvenile). Here's a better photo of it:
The two left hand birds I presume are 3+cy; here's a closer photos of one:
All of the feathers appear the same type (if not the same generation). Compare that to the right hand bird of the four, which I think is probably a 2cy. Here's a photo of two birds that appear to be 2cy — note the apparent juvenile feathers (brown, worn and rounded, compared to the broad squared-off adult feathers) that have (so far) not been moulted:
There was a large flock of about 250 finches feeding in the weedy patches that border the beach, mostly Brambling:
Good birds ringed at the lighthouse garden over the last few days, in addition to the Yellow-browed Warbler, have included this 1cy male Firecrest:
And this Marsh Tit, our second this season:
We also caught this pastel-shaded Blue Tit:
I've handled several birds over the last few days that have shown suspended/arrested moult. This adult Willow Warbler had retained S3 on both wings following its 'complete' post-breeding moult, as well as some median and lesser coverts:
This adult Willow Warbler had retained S5 on the right wing and some median and lesser coverts on both wing.
This 3+cy adult female Great Tit had retained S5 & 6 — with apologies for the naff photo:
The retained feathers are also visible, perhaps more so than in the photo above, on the closed wing:
This 3+cy adult male Siskin had retained S6 on both wings:
We've also seen a lot of Blue Tits with relatively limited post-juvenile moult, e.g. up to five retained juvenile greater coverts. Presumably this is all a result of the food-shortages that seem to have hit southern Swedish seed-eaters — a very good breeding season followed by a complete failure in the beech mast crop has result in food being in short supply and has forced many birds to leave (hence the huge numbers of tits etc we've been catching), probably also forcing many of the same birds to arrest their moult before it's finished.