Wild bird idenetification - the sequel....

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ipek | 17:54 Wed 15th Jun 2005 | Animals & Nature
9 Answers

OK you closet watchers - you asked for it!  Guess the birdie, all descriptions based on birds I recognise and asterix to stop AB editor from dropping qestion. 

Bird 1 - nearest thing I can see to it is a woodpecker, but the colours don't fit.
Size - larger than sparrow/robin, somewhere near greenfinch/starling.
Colour - chest pale beige (same as collar dove), head darker beige.  Not a lot of clear markings on either apart from a distinct bright red 'cap' towards the back of the head.  Couldn't see wings so well, but light brown not black. 
Food - feeding on the wire peanut holder (unfortunately at the back of it, hence not a good view of wings).
Tail - not noticable, body just seems to run to a point

Bird 2 - possible fledgling, nearest picture is crested t*t but much bigger.
Size - about blackbird/thrush.
Colour - chest light brown, back and head darker.  Distinct clear white collar all around neck and small raised black bib underneath on throat.  This looked spotted or mottled like it was molting/growing.  Looked like a snap-on vicars collar!
Food - sat hunched on the fence wistfully looking at the feeders
Tail - didn't see (on the other side of the fence).

Good luck.....


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Bird 1 sounds like a good match for a juvenile Greater Spotted Woodpecker.  Lucky you.  Check out the picture on the link below:
GSW Juvenile 
Since it is a juvenile, it must be near its nest so I would deduce that you have woodland very close to your garden.
I'll bet Cetti will know straight away!  The white collar on bird 2 made me think of reed buntings which have recently started to visit my garden, but they're not that big.

Cetti doesn't, I wish she did! Bird ID is a minefield - the light can make a bird appear lighter or darker than it actually is..and judging  sizes is not easy either, but I'll give you the sizes ipek and then as you are the only to have seen the little visitors you  decide on the specie.

Bird 1 - I'll go with gen2 but suggest Male Great Spotted Woodpecker 23cm. Juveniles have all red crowns. The male GSW has a red spot on the nape of its neck. The LSW fits the Greenfinch size at 15cms but the male has an all red crown and the juvs have mostly white heads.with just a touch of red. The Redpoll is the only other bird I can think of with red on it's head - but looks nothing like a Woodie... 

Bird 2 - Again I would say the only bird that fits is Robby's Reed Bunting. The male has a very distinctive black head with the white collar plus the black bib, but at 15cms it falls short of the Blackie size at 25cms. Buntings are chunky, perky  little birds and not usually hunched - unless it was feeling  a bit under the weather. Not much help, I'm afraid.

We have a GSW as a regular visitor to our garden - in fact he has been coming for about 5 years and although he's not as timorous as he was I still haven't managed to get him on photo yet. It's a shame as I could have showed you his picture, ipek. He is here every morning and generally back latish afternoon time.
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Thanks again.....

Having trolled 'the net' again, and sifted through your suggestions, I'm going for Bird1 as a female Green Woodpecker.  That's because there were definitely no red markings on the underside as in GSW and too big for LSW.  Maybe the 'beige' tones were really pale green - mental note, must clean windows!  Even though these are the 'common' 'peckers, I still feel quite thrilled.

Bird2 still a mystery, Reed bunting is a good likness for colouring, but it was definitely bigger.

Gets quite addictive, this birdwatching, doesn't it?  Wonder if the pair of Greenfinches are coming back....

Maybe it was a reed bunting having a bad hair day & just appeared larger?!  I know if I spot a newcomer in the garden they always seem larger at first.  As Cetti says it's very difficult especially if there aren't any others next to it to compare sizes. 

Birdwatching certainly is addictive (bit like this site)but my computer is near the window so I can do both!

Addictive, tell me about it? I now have a pair of bins downstairs  and one upstairs - just in case! The best time is on migration spring and autumn when all sorts of odd bods are hanging around and pop in for a quick drink and a rest.

I think we overlooked the Green Woodpecker as it's almost always a ground feeder very rarely coming to bird tables and at 30-33cms quite a large bird - so you were very lucky to have seen it. Enjoy everything as what might be seen as common is a rarity to someone else.

Two pairs of bins - that sounds like a good idea Cetti. Don't you love it when you're keeping your eye on a bird, slowly reach out for your bins, gradually bring them to your eyes....And they're the wrong way round!!
......or you see something that is bound to be a rarity, you stalk it for ages - and it turns out to be a bag with Tesco's written on it!!

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