Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Am i a photographer? Or do i just like Firecrests?


With my last couple of visit producing dire pictures of the Firecrest, i wanted a record shot for my Note book, so therefore, on a Friday, i walked home from 6th form (1 1/2) miles, and then walked the remaining 5 miles over to Penn Common, where the FIRECREST was still residing.
After getting abit lost on Penn golfcorse, i eventually found myself back on track, and was soon at the area the bird was in, Light Wood.
I was quite proud of myself, as Google maps predicted my journey would take 1 hour 1 minuite, however, i got to the site in just over 40 mins walking, so i was quite happy!
And as i arrived, i scanned over towards its favored hedge, and within 30 Seconds, i was watching the stunning male FIRECREST, flashing its orange crown as it went about its buisness.

It soon flew into a tall tree and started climbing, zipping between branches. Here i got a few photo's which show its orange crown.

Even in this relaxed posture, the orange is easilly visiable on the bird, i watched for about 20 mins before it moved off into the wood, and i informed a couple of birders who appeared from no-where that it was just showing while they were looking in the wrong place!

As time went by, there was still no sign, and both birders left, leaving me along again, soon, as is the luck with birding, the FIRECREST popped out on the edge of the holly not far away. i took a couple of snaps and looked down at the screen,

A photo of a FIRECREST!

As i had been watching the male bird earlier, i didnt look at its crown stripe, presuming it was the same bird, and just kept the above photo because it was the 'sharpest'. Despite having suspitions as to there being a pair of then on site, having seen a seemingly yellow crown striped bird on my first visit! With the light dropping, and the Firecrest having again dissapeared, i went looking for a bird i had heard calling all day, a flock of 15 YELLOWHAMMER, including 6 males which perched on the hedgeline further south of the wood, also mixed in was 4 Bullfinch and 10 Linnet.

However, over a week after seeing the bird, i finally uploaded the 'full set' of photos that i took and i went through them, and i was shocked when i came to this one. In the same 'set' as the picture above, pic 1 was blury, very blury, pic 2, again blury, pic 3, the photo below, pic 4 the 'good' photo, Pic 6, the bird dissapearing into the hedge.

On reviewing picture 3 i finally came to checking the colour of the crown stripe, and saw this!

A completly yellow crown stripe!

Could this mean that i was right, and there are 2 FIRECRESTS at Penn Common? please leave a comment on your thoughts.

I remain fairly certain there are 2 birds,
I know the stripe can 'change colour' when the bird is adjitated, or exited, however, i have seen the male bird in both 'relaxed' and 'exited' state, and both times you could see significant Orange tones (As seen in the relaxed first picture). Having said that, i also (not wanting to sound to far up my own arse) have quite good 'experiance of Goldcrests and their changing crown strpe after many years of close study on the patch (were lucky enought to see over 30 birds regularly!).

Having said the 'pluamge' side. the birds habits also stuck out, the male Firecrest often fed high in tree's, and often showed for long periods of time, however, this possible second bird was ALWAYS low down in the Holly bushes, and was alot less showy, only apperaing briefly each time.

Having summed up the pro's and con's, i cant see how there can only be (or WAS only) one Firecrest at Penn.
Your thoughts would be much appreciated,from people more 'in the know' than me?


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