Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Manxies and Brown-headed Blackbirds

The bad weather brought across the Atlantic in recent days by a deep low has wreaked havoc on the Pembrokeshire coast where hundreds of Manx Shearwater — many of them juveniles not long out of their burrows — have been washed ashore. The event is covered on the BBC News website and there's more news on the Pembrokeshire Birds blog.
It's not just in Pembrokeshire that Manx Shearwaters are being displaced; individuals have been found as far inland as Wigan (Gtr Manchester) and Draycote Water (Worcs).

With any Atlantic low like this, there's always the chance of an American songbird or two making landfall in the British Isles. How about a Brown-headed Cowbird?
But, as these photos taken by Tim Campbell in Antrim show, not every dark bird with a brown hood is a cowbird!  This striking young male Blackbird has largely moulted its body feathers but has yet to moult its brown juvenile head feather; not terribly unusual in itself but we've never seen one as clearcut as this before.  Certainly a striking bird!

Blackbird - Tim Campbell, Antrim

1 comment:

Tim James said...

Fascinating glimpse into the moulting process – great capture.