Saturday, 27 November 2010

World Birds at Beddington

I was having a look at the bird feeders this morning and remembering how I had seen several of the familiar species in other far flung parts of the world. Great Tit (pic 1) is a species that i have seen in many parts of Eurasia, India and the Far East. Geographical variation across it's range is highly complex (over 30 races are described in HBW) but in the UK, newtoni is the sub-species.
Tree Sparrows (pic 2) occur across the whole of Eurasia and the Orient and they have also been introduced to Pacific islands and Australasia.

Chaffinch (pic 3) is a more restricted range species occurring mainly in west Eurasia and parts of North Africa and also Macronesia (although introduced to a wider area including New Zealand). There are up to 14 races including a very distinctive form which occurs in my foreign patch- the Azores. 'Azorean Chaffinch' (winter male for comparison in pic 4) differs from the Chaffinches at Beddington in having a green mantle instead of brown, peachy underparts and face instead of rusty-red and extensive grey on the flanks and vent. There are also structural and vocalisation differences.
PS. I was ponsing about in the obs this morning and missed a Waxwing which flew southeast which I need for my Beddington list.


Steve Gale said...

When I went birding in Malaysia one of the surprising things for me were the Tree Sparrows in Kuala Lumpur - they were so common in the city centre, grubbing about on the pavements that it made me wonder why they cannot do the same in London.

Peter Alfrey said...

That is a bloody good point. Some micro-ecological stuff I suppose.

I was amazed to see so many in Kaula Lumpur too- flocks feeding on the cricket pitch.

john said...

Thailand is where I have seen Tree Sparrows and Great Tits. The Tree Sparrow is the most common bird species in the cities of Thailand as well. Between Asia and Africa, I have many European birds although I have never been to Europe.

Peter Alfrey said...

I think there are European Starling and House Sparrow in the US too- introduced I believe?

john said...

Those and many more, the lore is that some fool in New York City decided to introduce every bird mentioned by Shakespear in his plays into Central Park.
We paid England back by giving you guys Ruddy Ducks and Canada Geese, so I guess we are even.
There are many species that occur naturally on both continents.