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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 16:54   #1
seb_seb
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What was it? Martin? Swallow? Mute swan? lol

During a period of prolonged rain, a bird turned up in my garden that quite puzzled me. It was quite dark and overcast at the time, but i noticed a medium sized bird darting around my garden and the neighbours. The only features i can remember was a constant flashing between black and white on the body, a random non perching flight and a loud noise, sounding a bit like a a glass being hit with a spoon.
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 17:39   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb_seb
During a period of prolonged rain, a bird turned up in my garden that quite puzzled me. It was quite dark and overcast at the time, but i noticed a medium sized bird darting around my garden and the neighbours. The only features i can remember was a constant flashing between black and white on the body, a random non perching flight and a loud noise, sounding a bit like a a glass being hit with a spoon.
What do you mean by 'medium sized' what other bird that you know would you compare its size to? What time of year was it?
My guess, if it was 'darting' as you say, could be Pied Flycatcher or more likely, Pied Wagtail, but we do need more info.
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 18:22   #3
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"What do you mean by 'medium sized' what other bird that you know would you compare its size to? What time of year was it?
My guess, if it was 'darting' as you say, could be Pied Flycatcher or more likely, Pied Wagtail, but we do need more info."

It was today. By "Medium sized" i am saying that it was about starling sized. Im sorry about the lack of I.D features, but im just wondering what the 'experts' might say was most likely given the situation and few features. Pied Wagtail does seem to fit the description, except the bird i saw didnt have a long tail and was slightly more "hefty" looking. Also, the flight was not undulating, which i think a Pied Wagtails would be?
Thanks for the help,
Seb
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 19:53   #4
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Ring Ouzel??????
I'm struggling here, can I hear the hooves of M Frankis............?
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 21:41   #5
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From the title of your thread i'm guessing you think it was some sort of hirundine? Or a swan ;-)

If so, i'd go with House Martin.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 02:49   #6
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Dendrocopos (minor)?

Last edited by very boring banned member : Wednesday 7th April 2004 at 02:50. Reason: Post nr 3
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 07:54   #7
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Great Spotted Woodpecker?
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 08:51   #8
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Hadnt thought of the woodpeckers to be honest. It didnt seem typical of their flight but thinking back the noise was pretty similar to a GSW "chink" call. I would go with House Martin aswell jeff, but they dont usually come down this low, especially in a fairly enclosed garden.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 10:24   #9
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I think Mute Swan can fairly safely be excluded . . .

My guess would be for Pied Wagtail, but the call doesn't sound quite right, PWags have a 'chissick' call, I wouldn't describe it as being like hitting a glass with a spoon.

Otherwise, an escaped cagebird of some sort?

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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 14:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
I think Mute Swan can fairly safely be excluded . . .

My guess would be for Pied Wagtail, but the call doesn't sound quite right, PWags have a 'chissick' call, I wouldn't describe it as being like hitting a glass with a spoon.

Otherwise, an escaped cagebird of some sort?

Michael
Thanks Michael, I thought I might be alone in the Pied Wagtail theory.
Although it was more hefty looking than a Pied Wag, Great Spotted Woodpeckers tend to be a bit clumsy in flight, not usually accused of darting about. I'm not saying it wasn't a GSW and the fact is we may never know for certain, but surely some redness would have been visible?
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 14:57   #11
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I'm sticking with Paul Heaton going by your thread title, but the only chinker i can think of is the Chaffinch, hardly be described as flashing white then black though.

It's a mystery as Toyah once said.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 17:41   #12
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Reading the first post a couple of times I would probably go for Chaffinch as well! You do get a fair flash of black and white as they fly up and the call does sound right for the species.
Perhaps keep a field guide next to the window just in case it shows again...perhaps with a couple of markers in the pages showing Pied Wagtail and Chaffinch so you can hopefully solve the mystery.

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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 18:46   #13
seb_seb
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Thanks everyone. It was probably a bird im familiar with, such as a chaffinch, but puzzled me seen in those conditions.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 19:32   #14
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I have seen 5 crows in a line today and 3 magpies on a tiled toof next door to me.
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Old Thursday 8th April 2004, 08:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb_seb
Thanks everyone. It was probably a bird im familiar with, such as a chaffinch, but puzzled me seen in those conditions.
No one mentioned Brambling - could still be the odd one about and much more B&W than a Chaffinch.
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