Bird Identity

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Lonnie | 19:23 Sat 21st Jan 2006 | Animals & Nature
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There was a pair of birds in our tree today, (we live in Essex), their size was about midway between a starling and a pigeon, the one I assume to be the female, was the same colour all over, which was a very dark, almost black, the other, again, assuming this one is the male, had a grey stripe on the top of its head, reddish brown from its breast up and along the sides of its head, and sort of bottle green flecks also on its breast and a long, thin beak,which my wife thinks was yellow, I have a few books on bird identification, but couldn't pin these down. Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks.


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My guess is Fieldfare, could'nt find anything else that comes close.
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Thanks logman, both my wife and I think your right, I got it up on the net, what i'm hoping, is that they come back, if they do, and I manage to get a positive id, i'll let you know, but it certainly looks near enough.
Great, hope i dont end up with egg on my face..

Have a look at the above link Lonnie. Draw your cursor over each image especially having a good look at the adult on the ground, as this is what a male Fieldfare will look like now.

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Thanks Cetti, i've now got my doubts, because even though there are quite a few similarities, its the reddish brown on the side of the face that I saw, which the Fieldfare doesn't have, but as I said to logman, i'll be keeping a close watch today, in the hope they return, if they do, i'll put another post.
Hi Lonnie, I'm thinking about the redish brown now, it may also be worth checking out the closely related "redwing" too,both winter visiters from scandinavia..

Hi Lonnie, I'm not going to say I doubt that your birds are Fieldfares or even Redwings because birds are constantly making fools of us all, but..... it is very unusual to see either of these birds just as a pair because being gregarious types they will be seen in flocks of at least 20 (sometimes 100's) as a single specie or in a mixed flock.

If you live on the coast it might also be a possibility that your pair have been blown off course from continental Europe. I do hope they return as the long thin bill and bottle green breast flecks are driving me crazy trying to find something similar - without any luck!

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Hi Cetti, I'm pretty sure they're not either now, its 1430hrs now, and no sign of them, but hope springs eternal.

Hi lonnie, A long shot maybe but the thought occurred to me that the tree in your garden could be a clue, is it a fruit tree of some kind and did you see them feeding ?

Its not too uncommon to see fieldfares etc to venture into gardens in small numbers when food becomes scarce, i've been lucky enough to spot them in my garden on occaisions, gorging on cottoneaster berries and windfall fruit etc..

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Hi logman, its an apple tree, very big, but there are other fruit trees and bushes close by, when I saw them, I thought that maybe they were getting ready to nest, owing to the colours on the one assumed to be male, mind you, I don't know the nesting habits of the FF. There was a Thrush similarity, which ties in with the Fieldfare theory, but again, the colours steer you away, and so far, unfortunately, I haven't seen them again.

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