The Sky's the Limit
I'll be the first to admit, I know very little about birds.
Although I wouldn't drive 2,000 miles for a glimpse of a rare avian visitor to my Island, I am a member of the RSPB.
Whilst walking along the Island, the odd fluttering of wings does attract my attention. Here's a small selection of what's been seen over the years. Any assistance in the correct identification of our feathered friend's would be appreciated!
Start with my favourite bird, the Eurasian Wren. Why my favourite? Come on, what a cool binomial name!
The Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipter nisus)
The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
Puffins are one of the few birds that have the ability to hold several small fish in their bills at a time. Their raspy tongues and spiny palates allow them to firm grasp 10 to 12 fish during one foraging trip. They thus can bring more food back to their young compared with other seabirds that tend to swallow and regurgitate meals for their chicks.
There are four species of Puffins, three of which are slightly distinguishable from one another. The Atlantic and horned puffins look quite similar, with the exception of a blue-grey triangle at the base of the Atlantic Puffin’s beak. During the mating season, straw-like feathers protrude from the crown of the Tufted Puffin’s head. The fourth species, the Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata), doesn’t look like the other three – it’s ashen colored, with a rhino-like protrusion during the breeding season. But it’s still technically a Puffin.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major)
Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Kingfishers may look bright blue, but they are actually a murky brown colour. This is due to the difference between pigmented and structural colouration. If we were to just see the light reflected directly from the wings it would be brown, but actually the light bounces around the structure of the wings, causing iridescent colouring.