October 15th

October 15th

Southerly winds were well below their forecast strength but got up to speed by about 1030am from which point a blustery day with showers took hold. There was some limited ringing producing 22 new birds and 2 new Controls. Our first Firecrest Control, an adult female with a French ring. Also a 1st yr Chiffchaff with a UK ring on.

The immature male Marsh Harrier was again over Longis common where there was also a Wheatear. A further movement of Chaffinches were apparent with several flocks high over the Common first thing. This afternoon 12 Ringed Plovers on Braye beach and the pair of Dark bellied Brent Geese present in Longis Bay. Starlings continue to increase with a flock of over 400 on the golf course.

I was struck today by the size and colouration of the male Chaffinch pictured below. Hundreds have passed over on migration this week but we have only caught a handful. This individual, an adult male is I believe the continental Ssp Coelebs. It  had a wing length of 95mm exceeding by some 4mm the very top end wing length of the British Isles sub-species gengleri. Svennson records Coelebs to have both darker cheeks and throat than UK birds, and this was certainly the case here.

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Male Chaffinch – Longis Common – Photo – ABO