Northern Irish Coal Tits

Bit of both

Like N. Ireland’s politics, the Coal Tits are a bit of both- British and Irish. Most birds I see look white-cheeked, olive-backed and well just like British birds. Occasionally you come across an individual with more or less (usually less) yellow in the cheeks. Saw one such in Co. Down last weekend. But then I have seen one with some light yellow wash on cheeks in Derwentdale near my home in Sheffield. I think I  have only seen proper bright yellow cheeked hibernicus ‘Irish Coal Tit‘- way out west.

through a rain splattered lounge window in Co. Down. Feb 2011

Advertisements

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Northern Irish Coal Tits

  1. Harry Hussey says:

    Hi Martin,
    Down here in Cork, most Coal Tits look as one would expect hibernicus to. Some seem whiter on the ‘cheeks’, when seen at a distance with the naked eye, but closer views reveal obvious yellowish tones.
    Interestingly, there is a variant song that local birds often give (have heard it quite a lot this year so far), a kind of rattle on one note. I sent a recording of this to a friend in England with an interest in vocalisations, and he remarked that it struck him as unfamiliar. Last week, I met a visiting English birder here, and tried unsuccessfully for the local Ring-necked Duck: when I pointed out this song to him, he also felt that it was unusual. More to be learned…?
    Regards,
    Harry

  2. Harry Hussey says:

    Hi Martin,
    I have some poor quality recordings, made with my digital camera, of that song type from a few years ago. If I can dig them out, I’ll send them on to you.
    Perhaps the significance of this song type is less than one may hope, and maybe British birds also use it at least occasionally (I haven’t been in Britain during peak season for Coal Tit song), but anything is worth investigating, even if these investigations lead one down a dead end…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s