A lot can happen in a week! I’ve been out birding and photographing for my local 100 species project multiple times; strolling through some parks and woodland, and watching the sky for migrating birds. During one of those strolls, I’ve been able to get a glimpse of two wrens, and a group of tree sparrows. On another walk, a young buzzard was busy hunting finches near me, and a raven flew over, loudly calling. Check this video to see more!
Scanning the sky for birds flying by also proved to be fruitful. In the early hours of the day, large groups of birds fly from their sleeping place to foraging areas, and only return to their sleeping grounds in the last light. During these flight times, there is always a change of something unusual flying by. Last week, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a barnacle goose, two grey wagtails, and two stock doves! Large groups of chaffinches, bramblings and wood pigeons also came by regularly.
Although common, stock doves aren’t the easiest birds to see. They are relatively similar in size to feral pigeons, and their plumage resembles wood pigeons. Feral and wood pigeons are very common and can be seen in a wide variety of places. Wood pigeons tend to stay away from human activity. There is, however, a good way to tell wood pigeons and stock doves apart: wood pigeons have a white band on their wings and neck, stock doves do not. This, combined with their smaller tail and overall size, makes it possible to spot a stock dove in a group of wood pigeons.
With this week’s seven species the total number has surpassed 50! With less than a month into the project, that seems like a lot. However, the other half mainly consists of birds that are only here during the summer months, or in the migration season. There are also some ‘winter only’ species that I have yet to see (this year), like teals, black-backed gulls, and redpolls. So there is still a lot to do!
Total number of species: 54 / 100
Number of new species: 7
- Barnacle goose
- Grey wagtail
- Stock dove
- Tree sparrow
- Song thrush