Thursday, 28 August 2014

A Wader Go

Today was not a good day for passerines, it was drizzly, dark and overcast for most of the morning and as a result there was little movement of birds. There were birds from every round but not in big numbers
We did however have a good day with waders. Dunlin 36, Ringed Plover 4, Curlew Sandpiper 1, and Little Stint 5, was the best daily wader result of the trip. To finish off Colin and Dave caught 29 Redpoll and a Great Tit in the garden when we got home after a tourist trip to the tundra. The total for the day ended up being a reasonably respectable at 235 birds.

The main highlight of the day were the 46 waders we caught. We had our first adult Dunlin so I have posted a few pictures below to try and show you the difference between a young bird and an adult.

This picture shows the adult on the left and juvenile on the right. The adult has lost its brown head.

Also the overall wing colour of the juvenile on the left has moulted the grey colour of it's Primaries and Secondaries to the new brown colours of the adult.

Finally the creamy coloured spotty breast of juveniles moult to the black breast of an adult in breeding plumage as can be seen in the picture. This is the first adult wader ever caught on these  visits because they have usually migrated south in advance of the juveniles.

We went out for a drive today after lunch on the road between Tana Bru and Botsfjord. After a short drive we arrived at the Tundra area above where the tree line is inhibited by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The geography of this area is amazing. On the way there is always a chance to see Hawk Owls and Rough Legged Buzzards. We were so lucky to see both. The Hawk Owl picture is posted on the Varanger Ringing blog and of course the picture above is the buzzard.

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