Coal Tit

Tuesday, 6th November 2012 

It's almost inevitable that the Weares won't get as much birding coverage during the winter months as the rest of the year. I am I admit, a bit of a warm weather birder. Given the option of Portland or Panama - especially the Darian, the bit down below where I haven't been, I'd choose the latter any (winter's) day! There were small patches of frost on the ground on the under-cliff this morning. Call me a 'wimp' if you want. I don't care, and don't 'do'... any of that 'white stuff'.

It's not all about the weather though, when the days are so short, three or more hours 'out of the morning', is a long time and now that the migration has almost ground to halt. There's not too much to get excited about.

Goldfinches - not much to get excited about...?

Having said that, we have now moved on to what I call the new seasonal 'suite' of birds. Today I added a new species to my East Weare's list! The ever so humble, to some, Coal Tit. They don't breed here and we don't get many at all. There have though been several sightings of the species on Portland over the past few days, including one that was ringed at the Obs. I was duly asked, by those who like to complicate things, if my bird too was a 'Continental' Coal Tit... the nominate form that we most usually, if not always (?) see passing through. I was unable to tell as I only saw it briefly, front on, at the top of a tree. Then there's the call, "Was it mono or dual syllabic?", I was questioned when I made the mistake of mentioning (in more everyday parlance) that it deemed to 'vocalise'. I think, and only 'think' it was the latter, whatever that makes it... or doesn't. 

Beryl and friends - the sun finally came out!

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