Sunday, 5 January 2014

Meeting the King

The weather has been really bad over the Christmas holidays; windy, wet, more windy and then even wetter. So it has been quite frustrating, but we have managed two sessions so far this year, and here are the details.

2nd January 2014

There was a beautiful sunrise over the countryside where we were ringing.

I was really excited about our first ringing session of the New Year and it didn't disappoint; my first Brambling of this season put in an appearance and got us off to a great start for 2014.

Lesser Redpoll also made an appearance and were reasonably active in the session, catching a steady number as the morning moved on.

A bird we hadn't caught for a while was the Great Spotted Woodpecker so it was really nice to be able to handle this species again (it was a re-trap). 

5th January 2014

Onto my second session of ringing of the New Year. This time we were at one of my favorite sites, we didn't catch many birds, but even though the session didn't let us down...  

The final bird I ringed for my Christmas Holidays was a juvenile female Kingfisher. How many times have I seen a turquoise blue flash zip down the river or shoot across the vision of my eyes, hundreds, but only ever once or twice have I seen it perched up on a small branch or river bank. Never have I seen one in the hand which was the main reason why it was so amazing that I had the privilege to ring this bird...

You can tell it is a female because of the orange lower mandible. The greenish colour on it's wings shows that it is a juvenile.

What an end to a fabulous Christmas Holiday, I hope you have had a good one too. Back to school for me tomorrow, I bet it stops raining next week!


  1. I bet it stops raining next week! - I wouldn't bet on it!

    Another great day at the ringing nets for you there



  2. what a great catch! getting to see it up close must have been a thrill. such a beauty. love the panoramic sky, too.

  3. Great to see the Kingfisher up close Findlay... I captured my first ever photos of page GS Woodpecker in my garden this morning.

  4. hi Finlay. it is sure to stop raining as soon as you are back at school. It is wonderful to be able to see these birds at close quarters.

  5. The kingfisher is beautiful, we have beautiful kingfishers in Australia also. The Great-spotted Woodpecker is a lovely looking bird. Great post.

  6. I love the colouring of the juvenile kingfisher.

  7. Great birds and experience! Love the photos! Have a happy week!

  8. great images; how wonderful to see the kingfisher up so close too. Loved that sunrise!

  9. What great ringing (and just plain great birding). Your kingfisher is so much more colorful than the ones over here...amazing to see so close; what a beauty.

    Of course it will stop raining when school starts again; that's just a given isn't it? (We used to live in Oregon where my husband taught and my now middle-aged kids grew up..and I still remember that seemed to ALWAYS happen at Christmas break...always! Climate there's very similar to yours. )

  10. lovely to see the sun in your first photo. A rare occasion these days.


  11. That was a fabulous couple of ringing seesion, Findlay. I'd have given my right arm to be that close to any of the birds that you've shown above.

    All the best for school - you're not missing too much good weather yet (not if it's anything like it's been in these parts!).

  12. What a great holiday you had! Marvelous photos.

  13. What a great bird to have in the hand - very special.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: yes, its remarkable that its the same coot!

  14. Beautiful sunrise and cute birds.

  15. Yes Findlay. Kingfishers are aptly named - very special birds especially in the hand. Nicely done. Not many Bramblings around here this year.