Is this a Northern Great-spotted Woodpecker (major)?
I did a few taxis this morning and then joined both Big Al and Jim at Porth Hellick for a spot of ringing. They had already ringed a Siberian Chiffchaff and in the two hours that I was there of note, we trapped a Firecrest and another Siberian Chiffchaff. After ringing the sibe, I moved on and nearby found an unringed Siberian Chiffchaff with a Yellow-browed Warbler and 2 Firecrest. Flushed a Woodcock, a male Merlin flew through and 10 Skylark and 11 Meadow Pipit also flew overhead.
Unringed Siberian Chiffchaff at Porth Hellick
And this is 1 of the 2 Siberian Chiffchaff ringed at Porth Hellick
Up to 4 Firecrest have already been ringed this November
2 Firecrest were also at Porth Hellick unringed
This Water Rail was having a good old preen at Porth Hellick
At Higher Moors there were less numbers of Chiffchaff, but there were 3 Firecrest and the Northern Willow Warbler was showing well. The female Great-spotted Woodpecker was vocal and I found her working on a dead tree, I put my bins up and was taken back to how stout and short the bill was! I have never come across a Great-spot with a bill like this before and thought that maybe it might be of Continental race? As it was showing well, I thought I better take as many pics as possible before it moved on. This is also the first time that I've every really observed this individual, since it was first seen at the beginning of October, as I normally just catch a glimpse of her flying away deeper into the wood.
It was only when I returned home and I looked up races of Great-spotted Woodpecker on the net that I discovered that the northern race major can have a stout, small bill. Woodpeckers of Europe writes that 'Northern birds are generally larger with stubbier bills and whiter underparts and foreheads' However, this female shows a buff wash to the underparts and forehead. Any comments welcome.
Note the stout, shorter bill on this female Great-spotted Woodpecker
For compassion, here's a female taken in Finland showing a stout shorter bill than the longer, slighter, more slender bill of the British race anglicus
Any comments on this bird would be very welcome
The Northern Willow Warbler was showing well at Higher Moors
A cold looking Chiffchaff
A small number of Siskin and Goldfinch were at Green Farm. Nearby there were 6 Brambling with over 350 Chaffinch
On St Agnes there were Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Black Redstart, Water Pipit was still at Periglis and at the bulb dump a Little Bunting was discovered.
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