Sunday, 2 January 2011

In with the new

Juvenile Woodpigeon in January - presumably a late-hatched bird last autumn which has suspended its moult.
After the rush of listing in what became a Big Year in 2010, how nice to get 2011 going in a more sedate fashion. First in the binoculars for the New Year was this Woodpigeon in the garden on 1st - surprised to see one still in juvenile plumage in early January, but a little research reveals that late-hatched Woodpigeons may suspend their moult and retain juvenile plumage (or elements of it) through the winter. This bird has just started to acquire white feathering on the neck - but only just.

Otherwise, no birding on 1st, in contrast to recent years on New Year's Day - instead, an overnight trip to the Midlands with the family, during which the ornithological highlights were four Red Kites on the M40 (obligatory these days, even when raining), a couple of Common Buzzards and the first Yellowhammer of the year. The real fun should start instead on 3rd.

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