with weird Latin names
While in N. Ireland last weekend I got chance good looks and photos of Western Jackdaws- ssp. spermologus– the resident Jackdaws of Britain and Ireland. Best starting point for me has always been to ‘learn the local birds’ to know them well, that way ‘odd’ or interesting individuals are more easily discerned and its my way of being better informed to pick out a young Daurian Jackdaw!
Meanwhile Ian Smith sent me photos of 1st winter Nordic type Jackdaw from Spurn and Dan Brown of a bird in Cumbria which said “maybe I am a visiting Russian Jackdaw or what an intergrade looks like”. All grist to the…etc etc
adult spermologus Jackdaws. Millisle, N Ireland, 12th Feb 2011. Different angles and lighting can affect appearance. Check out the iridescent blues on right hand (head -on) bird in last shot.
hindneck/nape patch bit paler and more contrasting than on the N Irish spermologus above and with little white patch at front of collar. aged by brownish tones to wings with some moult contrast and especially that darker iris- scary!
Just as a reminder and comparison, I think this is a good candidate from Sussex in Feb. 2007 of Russian Jackdaw ssp. soemmerrengii .
Dan Brown sent me these images from Cumbria with following comments (Dan- don’t let Alex Lees see you are looking at these, you might lose your honorary ‘mohican’- c.f. this months end section of Birdwatch mag.)
Hope all’s well. Thought you might be interested in the attached. I found it feeding with 52 Jacks in Cumbria yesterday and managed one poor shot before it was flushed by a Peregrine but luckily refound it today. It is such a striking bird and different in so many ways to spermologus. The main differences are apparent from the images but the overall feel of the bird was markedly different as well. It appeared slightly larger, but particularly more butch. The trousers seemed larger in volume and more ragged, much like a rook, the bill even seemed slightly heavier. The gloss on the secondaries also appeared far more marked than on accompanying birds although this may just be a factor of angle, light and greater concentration on one individual. All this combined with the beautifully contrasting plumage made me think it may be a soemmerringii or intergrade rather than a monedula. The underparts were certainly consistently dark.”