Sunday, November 29, 2015

Long-tailed Tits

It is not often that I see Long-tailed Tits in my garden, but a flock has arrived recently. They do not come to the feeders but regarly visit the bushes next to the kitchen window, really close! The birds show a variety of head-patterns, from really dark to completely white, and demonstrate the challenge of identifying pure White-headed Long-tailed Tit ("caudatus"-type). And I need to clean the windows:-)
typical native breeder, with extended dark eyestripe
intermediate bird with faint dark streaking on ear and crown
same bird, different pose
intermediate bird with less streaking
caudatus-type; completely white head with strong contrast to black back. I think the hint of fine streaking behind the eye is caused by shadow
shadow or streaking?
caudatus-type with again pure white head, sharply demarcated black back

Meanwhile the House Sparrows have learned to open the seeds of Sunflower, and I am sure the 40kg will not be enough this winter:-) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Arctic Warbler

A bird that put Franeker on the birding map! Last week this Arctic Warbler spend several days on the parking of the local swimming pool. Unfortunately the bird was in a rather bad state, with a deformed bill and poor plumage. I assume it did not survive the short cold, dark and foggy days.
Meanwhile the Bewick's Swans start to arrive in Lauwersmeer, and I explored by boat several times. Their beautifull calls create a fantastic atmosphere!