27 October, 2012


Scientific Name: Regulus regulus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Partial migrant, favoring wooded habitats throughout Europe and discontinuously in Asia through to Japan.

Field Notes: Small, flitty, olive-drab bird with pin beak. Darker wings with two white wing bars. Pale area around eyes. Golden crest that is often difficult to see.

Personal Notes: Seen at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, London.

Carrion Crow

Scientific Name: Corvus Corone

Population Estimate:
21M to 71M

Range / Habitat:
Occurs throughout Great Britain, south of the Great Glen in northern Scotland. There are two main carrion crow populations globally; one is distributed throughout most of Asia, the second occurs in western Europe.

Field Notes:
It is the same size and shape as the hooded crow, but differs in that the plumage is entirely black, with a green and bluish-purplish gloss. The thick black bill has a curved tip.

Personal Notes:
Some species consider this conspecific with Hooded Crow.

Hooded Crow

Scientific Name: Corvus Cornix

Population Estimate:
Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat:
In Britain, this crow mainly occurs in north and western Scotland, it also occurs in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. Elsewhere it is widespread throughout central and northern Europe between the Arctic in the north to the Mediterranean in the south.

Field Notes:
The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) (sometimes called Hoodiecrow) is a Eurasian bird species in the crow genus. It is an ashy grey bird with black head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers, as well as a black bill, eyes and feet. Like other corvids it is an omnivorous and opportunistic forager and feeder.

Personal Notes:
Some authors consider this bird conspecific with Carrion Crow.

18 October, 2012

Western Jackdaw

Scientific Name: Coloeus Monedula

Population Estimate: 21.1 - 90B

Range / Habitat: Widely distributed throughout Britain, but scarcer in upland areas. The jackdaw is also widespread throughout western Europe. Scandinavian populations migrate to England, Scotland and the Low Countries for the winter.

Field Notes: Medium-sized crow with grey nape and pale yellow eye. Hooded Crow with black eye, all black hood and more grey on back.

Personal Notes: Richard captured the top photo on the Cechy Most across the Vltava River in Prague.

Eurasian Magpie

Scientific Name: Pica Pica

Population Estimate: 22.5 - 57B (including Black-Billed Magpie in the US)

Range / Habitat: Resident in open areas, including artificial habitats, throughout most of Europe, Asia, and northwest Africa.

Field Notes: Large, conspicuous pied corvid with brilliant sheen to the back and long tail. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: 

17 October, 2012

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Dendrocopos Major

Population Estimate: 73.5 - 216B

Range / Habitat: Resident in temperate forest throughout Europe and northern Asia.

Field Notes: Medium-sized black and white woodpecker with a black line which zigzags from the shoulder halfway across the breast, then back to the nape; a black stripe, extending from the bill, runs below the eye to meet this latter part of the zigzag line. Large white shoulder patch, barred flight feathers. Undertail coverts red. Males have a crimson spot on the nape, which is absent in females and juvenile birds. Syrian Woodpecker similar but less well-developed zigzag stripe on the neck. White-winged Woodpecker also similar but with far more extensive white wing patch.

Personal Notes: A welcome sound and sight after nearly a year in New Zealand without woodpeckers.

Great Tit

Scientific Name: Parus major

Population Estimate: 300M - 1.1B

Range / Habitat: Resident in wooded areas throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa.

Field Notes: Hefty tit, with a black head and neck, prominent white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts.

Personal Notes: Some authors consider this to be a subspecies.

Eurasian Blue Tit

Scientific Name: Cyanistes caeruleus

Population Estimate: 20 - 44M pairs estimated in Europe

Range / Habitat: Temperate forest or scrubland in continental Europe, the Mediterranean, and in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

Field Notes: Small, brightly colored songbird with yellow breast, blue cap and wings. Thin black eye stripe.

Personal Notes: Some sources consider this to be a subspecies.