Saturday, 12 March 2016

female Pine Bunting and bits from last weekend

Back to last weekend and my day out in The Netherlands. There were birds everywhere - good to see lots of geese and ducks by the roadside as we headed back southwest from Amsterdam. Target was a female Pine Bunting, a plumage I'd never seen before having only seen two males of this species (both in Britain, in 1996 and 2005). And having found the site at Wilhelminadorp, just like the rubythroat earlier in the day, this was one showy little bird. Very educational too. As always click on the images to see them in decent definition.

Never having seen a female Pine Bunting, I'd got my search image all wrong. I thought it was going to 'feel' like a Yellowhammer, but this didn't. It felt nice and rare, fresh from Siberia. It was heard to call too; like a Yellowhammer but pinchier and slightly more metallic. A lovely warm rump, cold mantle braces, dark ear-covert surround and an open facial pattern with a nice pale eye ring, sub-moustachial and slightly streaked, pale throat.

female Pine Bunting Wilhelminadorp, Zeeland, The Netherlands 5th March 2016
And on the way, I got my only Western Palearctic tick of the day - Alexandrine Parakeet in trees on the north side of Vondelpark, Amsterdam! Every little helps.
Alexandrine Parakeet Vondelpark, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 5th March 2016
Sunday was inevitably spent close to home, in a bit of a daze due to the lack of sleep on Friday night. Anyway, local birding delivered and there was a Firecrest in Russia Dock Woodland (first I've seen there for over 5 years) as well as a Kingfisher, while on the river a ringed Herring Gull proved to be from near Rufforth, Yorkshire.
Herring Gull Y:109 Rotherhithe, London 6th March 2016 - ringed at Harewood Whin, Rufforth, Yorks on 26th October 2015

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