Saturday, 28 November 2009

Update from Mick's garden, 27-11-09

I managed to put a net up for a couple of hours today. It was the best session of late and I finished on 8 birds, 5 new and 3 recaptures. Of the new birds 3 were Goldfinches and 2 were Greenfinches.
The Greenfinches were interesting. They were a 3M and a 4M. The tails were a good example of Svennson's explanation of the tips of the outer web of the 5th TF, with the juvenile feather tapering off and the adult feather remaining broadly rounded. Also, the young bird had moulted several tail feathers and you can see the contrast between old and new feathers in the pic.

There were also obvious differences in the quality of the feathers and amount of abrasion. Lastly, the 4M had clean grey tips to the primary coverts and a bright yellow alula.
The recaptures were all Goldfinches that I ringed in September (of 116 ringed I have only recaptured 9). After sexing and ageing them on their characteristics in the hand, I looked back at the ringing data and to my relief my records tallied and it's good to have the opportunity to follow the development of specific birds as they get older.


  1. Re. Goldfinches - down here in Beds. quite a lot of the 3s have moulted through to the carpal or alula, leaving no visible ogc; therefore aged on tail. Most of the others have just the 1ogc. Have yours further north been behaving the same?

  2. Mick says - of 82 young birds this autumn, 22 had no ogcs.