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BS: Unidentifiable English bird??

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greg stephens 21 Nov 10 - 07:38 AM
VirginiaTam 21 Nov 10 - 07:52 AM
greg stephens 21 Nov 10 - 11:29 AM
greg stephens 21 Nov 10 - 11:35 AM
Mrrzy 21 Nov 10 - 02:45 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Nov 10 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Patsy 22 Nov 10 - 04:11 AM
Jim McLean 22 Nov 10 - 04:51 AM
David C. Carter 22 Nov 10 - 05:32 AM
Arnie 22 Nov 10 - 05:33 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 10 - 08:04 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Nov 10 - 08:59 AM
bubblyrat 22 Nov 10 - 09:37 AM
Arnie 23 Nov 10 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,PeterC 24 Nov 10 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,^&* 24 Nov 10 - 04:06 AM
GUEST, Sminky 24 Nov 10 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,^&* 24 Nov 10 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,^&* 24 Nov 10 - 04:30 AM
greg stephens 24 Nov 10 - 05:07 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Nov 10 - 01:52 PM
Rapparee 24 Nov 10 - 07:05 PM
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Subject: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 07:38 AM

Any experts about? In the garden this morning(Stoke 0n Trent). A small bird. Markings rather like a tit, about the size of a blue tit, but skinnier, not so round. Black and white marked head, a bit coal tit like possibly? But, the really odd thing, it had a long pale yellow beak. Not hugely long, but much longer than any tit's beak.
No blue about the markings that I recall, and no yellow except the beak. At a guess the markings were just black white and fawn?
So, what was that? I have nothing like it in either of my bird books. An RSPB site(I think) on the internet, that you type in various characteristics to, showed no matches when I put in the size, the location, the medium pale yellow beak etc.
Interesting, its arrival provoked a very substantial busy agitated reaction from a large number of blue tits and great tits in the garden.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 07:52 AM

long beak blue tit

Not same as your description but looks to be an anomaly of the tit family.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 11:29 AM

Thanks for that. I'm not going mad, such things clearly do happen. Now I know that, I can make sense of what I saw. It was a juvenile coal tit with a freakishly long beak. And the unnaturately thin body is simply explicable by the sad fact it couldn't feed properly. And the extensive activity of other birds, mainly tits, also similarly sadly explicable: they didn't like a freak in their midst?


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 11:35 AM

Found a video of one too.
long beaked blue tit


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 02:45 PM

Speaking rather loosely of birds, and loose birds to boot, I am reminded of the time I was asked to bring some suitable female companions to a party, but by the time I got home I wasn't sure if they'd wanted big-titted hippie chicks or big-hipped titty chicks...

True story. Sad but.
Hee hee. I better come to an end right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 08:15 PM

Maybe of interes - and maybe not:

Tit.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 04:11 AM

No I am no expert but I would have said a juvenile or if there is one a 'lesser blue tit' please don't laugh. I bet 'Autumn Watch' would know the answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Jim McLean
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 04:51 AM

We had four white 'great tits' in our garden a few years back. They weren't albinos as there were some pale brown streaks.
After a lot of research and dismissive replies from the RSPB they were identified as being 'leucistic', a recognisable physical feature of various animals. The RSPB eventually published my photograph of one of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: David C. Carter
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 05:32 AM

Todays Guardian has an article about a sighting of a "Water pipit".

Somewhere near Chedder(England).Don't know if this is maybe what you are talking about.

David


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Arnie
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 05:33 AM

I'm also a bit confused by a type of bird that I've seen a few times now but cannot identify. This one is a seabird that regularly visits Deal pier in Kent, UK. Occasionally there are a few of them, hanging around the pier fishermen no doubt hoping for scraps of bait. They are about the size of a large thrush and brown and white with longish red legs and a longish beak. No doubt they are waders, but not very big ones. The nearest I can get online is either a turnstone or the semi-palmated plover, but neither of these is exactly the same as the birds I see. I've seen them fly off the pier and land in the sea where they bob around like small brown and white ducks. Any ideas? Next time I'm on the pier I'll try and get a photo but they are pretty quick movers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 08:04 AM

Sounds like a pied wagtail to me.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 08:59 AM

Definitely not a pied wagtail! Turnstone sounds likely. They have red legs and hang around piers and jetties occasionally, though more often they are picking around in seaweed and mussel beds or in mud.

I used to know girls with red legs who hung around piers...


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: bubblyrat
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 09:37 AM

.....or Peers !


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Arnie
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 06:41 AM

Definitely not a pied wagtail - I'm a bit of an amateur birder so know the more common types. They may well be turnstones as Steve S suggests but they don't quite look like the ones I've seen online. I'll have to get a photo to settle the matter but out of the area for a few days so it will have to wait for now....


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 03:53 AM

The turnstone pictures published tend to show the summer plumage, they look a bit plainer at this time of year.

I have never seen them swim but otherwise the behaviour sounds right.

You could try posting here for advice from more experienced birders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 04:06 AM

Yeah - it's the swimming observation that puzzles. Waders don't swim - that's why they wade! Otherwise turnstone is best bet. Behaviour is usually rather busy scratching among seaweed covered rocks. Watch for the WING PATTERN when it flies off - check out a birdguide to get an idea of what to expect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 04:09 AM

Sounds like a Nuthatch - tit-like but with that straight beak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 04:17 AM

Oops! Be careful - we have two birds here (or there, rather)... Better separate them out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 04:30 AM

For Bird 1 (Garden) - nuthatch struck me as a possibility, too. But the striking thing to Greg was the COLOUR of the beak - which is not yellow - rather than the size and shape. Similarly, nuthatch behaviour is usually striking enough to draw attention. RSPB drawing

With Bird 2, the problem is the swimming - but Turnstone remains best bet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 05:07 AM

No it was not a nuthatch. In fact, a nuthatch came and sat on the rail just after the anamolous tit, and I know very well what they look like. After a good browse on the internet, I am perfectly sure that what I saw was a coal tit with a long beak, there are many films and photos of mutant tits with long beaks to be seen on the internet. This fact was not in any of my bird books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 01:52 PM

I rejected nuthatch straight away. Nothing like one by the sound of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unidentifiable English bird??
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 07:05 PM

I think her name was Annie. I met her near the...oh. Never mind.


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