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What could it be? smallish bird (about the size of a finch)


 
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Serendipity
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Joined: 08 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: What could it be? smallish bird (about the size of a finch) Reply with quote

Hi there,

I've noticed a visitor in my garden (I've a feeder hanging from my clothes line), but I can't find anyone who can tell me what it is, I hope somebody here can help.

It's a smallish bird (about the size of a finch), initially I thought it was all dark brown, but with the sun shining at a different angle I have noticed that the back is a very dark brown with a russet tone to it, while the chest and belly are very dark brown/anthracite grey in colour. The legs and beak seem dark too. Its head is also dark, about the same colour as its back. It's not a mottled/ spotted bird. I thought it might have been a blackcap but it's much darker than any of the photos I've found on the net. It feeds mainly on the ground on the seeds that have fallen from the feeder. It's shy but much less so than the finches or the tits (although not as cheeky as the robins!). I can't see its beak properly because it's too far away, and I don't have a digital camera. So far I've only ever seen it on its own.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.


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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Serendipity,
Could it possibly be a crossbill? It's the only one in my book that seems a possibility. Do you have conifers near your garden? (they eat seeds from spruce cones)
I can't be certain as I've never seen a crossbill myself.......
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verge
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
Hi Serendipity,
Could it possibly be a crossbill?


Never heard of one myself. Here's a pic of one though for you to study Serendipity.


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Serendipity
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for answering Sive and Verge, but I'm afraid I don't think that's it - this crossbill seems to be much darker than my "UFO", and besides there aren't any conifers nearby (lots of deciduous trees, though!).

After looking into this a bit more I thought it might have been a thrush nightingale (either a black billed or a ruddy capped one - see http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s267/alexnaturals/My%20Birds%20Costa%20Rica/Ruddy-cappedNightingale-Thrush2-1.jpg and http://images.google.ie/images?gbv=2&hl=en&q=Catharus%20gracilirostris&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi - I've just amended the links) until I found out they are native of Costa Rica and Panama... I know the Gulf Stream reaches our shores, but I don't think these little things would appreciate the beauty of the West of Ireland's weather...

The search continues...
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Bobwilliams
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serendipity I guess it could be a Hedge Sparrow. Any photos?
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Serendipity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think, Bobwilliams, so it's much darker than the photos of hedge sparrows (dunnocks?) I've looked up on Google, and it definitely doesn't have those markings on the wings and back - it's not mottled at all, as far as I can see... thanks for your suggestion, though!

I'm afraid I don't have a digital camera, so no photos...

Actually, now that I think of it, it looks very much like the little photo next to the heading of this forum (on the main page), whatever it is...
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