“It’s blue! It’s blue!”

17 10 2013

“Blue are the streets and all the trees are too.”

– Blue, Eiffel 65

After a month without updating the blog, it’s time to actually do something, even it can only be a review of the last weeks. Many interesting things have happened during this period, maybe too many to have time enough to sit in front of the laptop late in the afternoon.

The actual autumn in Falsterbo had suddenly started during my flash visit to the Canary Islands, but some nice birds such as the Steppe eagle had kindly stayed around. Other highlights of the raptor migration included the biggest day ever for Honey buzzard and a nice juvenile female Montagu’s harrier that stayed in the area for a week. It’s a pity that this was the species from what I got better views… the rarest harrier here but again the commonest in the Iberian Peninsula.


We kept on catching some good birds, both at the Lighthouse and at Flommen. A couple of littoralis Rock pipits in the cages were very interesting for a Mediterranean birder, especially this nice 1st winter with quite a lot of white in the tail. With strong light conditions, you can probably get a pure white impression of R6.

Anthus petrosus 1blog

Anthus petrosus blog2

The tail of the adult (below) was more similar to what I had expected, but I still don’t know if it’s age related or just individual variation.

Anthus petrosus 2blog

In the meanwhile, the lighthouse produced a Nutcracker during standarised ringing and a Tengmalm’s owl during the night (the last thanks to Aron’s keen work!).

Nutcracker blog

aegolius blog

Extra ringing at the Station is also successful, with 2 Yellow-browed warblers and a Red-breasted flycatcher ringed so far. However, I think the best in that respect is still about to come.

inornatus blog Ficedula parva

What finally pushed me to update the blog is yesterday’s Red-flanked bluetail. It was still dark in the first net-round and Stephen and me where in net 3 extracting the usual robins and wrens when Stephen started shouting at me “it’s blue! it’s blue!”. After some days with hundreds of Blue tits, something blue in the net is not surprising. This time, however, the “blue thing” was more exciting and less painful fr our already damaged fingers. I ran towards Stephen and he was holding the bird (that was still in the net) in a way that I could only see the tail. It took me a few seconds to react, but yeah… it was a Bluetail.


I’ve never got the English meaning of the word “blue” to describe something boring. A chat with such an electric blue tail is just a discharge of adrenaline, especially when the blue is extensive to the inner GCs and 30% of the LCs. Seemingly, the post-juvenile moult can be that extensive and therefore at least some birds can be sexed in 1st winter plumage. An exciting item from a bird that was already exciting itself!




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