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Rudolph the Redpoll Reindeer - A Redpoll Day

lørdag 2. december 2023
af Simon Kiesé

Today was a really nice day and when I woke up, Thomas and Mathilde had already opened the three nets in our garden and set up a new one at the feeder. I directly joined for the first round, where we were already able to ring two Blackbirds (Solsort). There was nearly no wind and this convinced many Redpolls (Gråsisken) to migrate so we soon had quite some in our nets, which got rings from us.

02122023 redpolls 3

Since we just caught Common Redpolls (Nordlig Gråsisken), we could concentrate really good on the individual birds. For me it felt, like from one second to the next, ageing made completely sense and I could access many features in our birds. This was really fun. Lisa and Simon joined us to enjoy the Redpolls and also the snow. Two Redpolls were really interesting:

First of all: 02122023 redpolls 1

Following to ordinary birdguides, the whitish and neraly not marked undertail coverts are a feature for Arctic Redpolls (Hvidsisken). But this one was a obvious 2k+ male Common Redpoll (Stor Gråsisken/Nordlig Gråsisken). This proofs (again), that this feature is not relieable. Just if the other features also fit, it can support the argumentation, but the variation is so big, that even Lesser Redpolls (Lille Gråsisken) can show whitish undertail coverts and even Arctic Redpolls (Hvidsisken) are allowed to have streakes here (even if it might be more unusual).

The second interesting one was this one:

02122023 redpolls 2

This bird had a white PC (Primary Covert) on both wings. On the left wing (photo) it was really white and on the right wing it was brownish with a whitish surrounding. The innermost alula also looked more white than usual. It was nice to pick out this wrong coloration. There can be various reasons for this "wrong" feather. In anyway it will not affect the bird. 

In the meanwhile and after closing the nets, we focussed on doing office works like SoMe posts, entering the data from our trip yesterday to dofbasen and the ringingdata from today to fuglering. My Mom and a good friend have birthday, so I also called both and had a nice chat with them. It's a crazy feeling, that the station shuts down soon. The time runs and I enjoy every second here. I'm already looking forward to come back in spring. But until than there is much fun stuff to do. And we have already started the fun stuff like playing games with Thomas and Mathilde. It's really fun with you.

Ringing (Fyrhaven):

Common Redpoll    Nordlig Gråsisken 62  RI                
 Redpoll Nordlig Gråsisken/Lille Gråsisken 1 RI                  
 Wren Gærdesmutte 1 RI                  
 Blackbird Solsort 4 RI

Total: 68

Today’s observations on Dofbasen from observers in the area.

People: Thomas Weston, Mathilde Ducroz, Simon Kiesé, Lisa Vergin and Simon S. Christiansen.