Wing bars in Males
Help requested- see below 🙂
I have mentioned this one briefly before but I thought I’d pitch again…
I am currently writing on the subject of Northern Bullfinch ID (nominate pyrrhula) versus the continental europoea and British pileata taxa. I found the male featured below along with 2 other Northern Bullfinches at Whitby, North Yorkshire in late October 2004 (the last big invasion year). Not the first or only Northern Bullfinches I have seen. But not seen another quite like it…
A big fat, chunky bad ass. Pink and pale grey. Beauty. Feeding at point-blank tame range right next to a footpath.
The curious feature I am asking about and trying to make sense of is the white wing bar. You can clearly see instead of having a flat upper edge to the white tips of the curved, then are curved with ‘U’ shaped edge and white bleeding up the outer webs of the feather. It becomes more pronounced on the inner greater coverts which are slightly obscured by overhanging grey scapular feathers.
This pattern certainly exists in the far eastern taxon cassini (readily apparent on museum specimens). I don’t think this bird is from the core range of cassini. However I can’t easily explain where the pattern originates. Most Northerns I have seen and researched show usually broad wing bars with straight upper edge, sometimes ‘saw-toothed pattern’ but not with the white U shapes.
I wonder if this is a pattern is may be broadly related to intergradation with cassini which occurs in the Siberian population but much closer to / within the Western Palearctic?
Can anyone elaborate or share any more light?
Or indeed any more insights in those trumpeting calls or other variants in calls. I have heard trumpeting Northern near the Pasvik river on the Norwegian/Russian border give a variety of calls including ‘tooting’.