The common (or mealy) redpoll is a small finch. It is larger and paler than the very similar lesser redpoll. It is streaky brown above and whitish below with black streaks, and shows two white lines on the folded wing. It doesn’t breed in the UK, but is a passage migrant and winter visitor, particularly to the east coast.
Today’s tweet of the day is about the Song Thrush.
A familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers have declined markedly on farmland and in towns and cities. It’s smaller and browner than a mistle thrush with smaller spotting. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head.
This small, dark, long-tailed warbler is resident in the UK and has suffered in the past from severe winters. The Dartford warbler’s population crashed to a few pairs in the 1960s, since when it has gradually recovered, increasing in both numbers and range. It is still regarded as an Amber List species. It will perch on top of a gorse stem to sing, but is often seen as a small flying shape bobbing between bushes. Read more at: https://www.rspb.org.uk
The chaffinch is one of the most widespread and abundant bird in Britian and Ireland. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes most obvious when it flies, revealing a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers. It does not feed openly on bird feeders – it prefers to hop about under the bird table or under the hedge. You’ll usually hear chaffinches before you see them, with their loud song and varied calls.
Good morning and a Happy New Year to you everyone.
The first bird I have seen this year, in France, is the Tree Sparrow, and lots of them. Beautiful little birds, hopping from every branch.
Smaller than a house sparrow and more active, with its tail often cocked. It has a chestnut brown head and nape (rather than grey) and white cheeks and collar with a contrasting black cheek spot. They are shyer than house sparrows in the UK and are rarely associated with people, although in continental Europe they often nest in buildings just like house sparrows.
The UK tree sparrow population has suffered a severe decline, estimated at 93 per cent between 1970 and 2008. However, recent Breeding Bird Survey data is encouraging, suggesting that numbers may have started to increase, albeit from a very low point.