I have recently received feedback on pictures that I have sent round a few people on the Jackdaws that I have found around Conwy County this winter. I have over 250 pictures of at least 12 ‘neck collared’ individuals. Most comments are adapted from Rudy Offereins emails. He wrote this interesting article for Dutch Birding on ‘Identification of eastern subspecies of Western Jackdaw and occurrence in the Netherlands’. Link here http://calidris.home.xs4all.nl/monedula.htm
This first bird turned up in my garden during the snow on 20/01/2013. This followed a period of snow and easterly winds. Alan Tilmouth wrote this on the birding frontiers website http://birdingfrontiers.com/2011/04/10/eastern-jackdaws/
I’ve also noticed that the timing is interesting with many of these ‘Eastern-type’ Jackdaws showing up from December onwards with a peak in February/March. There could be two factors at play here; weather related movements from the continent perhaps pushing birds further west in bad winters and the tendency for juveniles to move further than adults that only subsequently get detected as they begin to wear in late winter causing the collars and neck patches to become more prominent.
|My garden Llandudno Junction 20/01/2013|
Per Rudy, The birds in your garden are ‘classic’ monedula’s because of their pale and long collars and their pale under-parts where darker chevrons shine through. Local resident birds would have much
This is true as the accompanying local Jackdaws have almost, completely black under-parts. He also added.
Variation within spermologus is with these birds (because of the paler under-parts, combined with the pale collar) out of the question.
The same comment was given for this bird at Sychnant pass, Conwy 21/02/2013. These birds show a strong contrast between the black wings and paler under-parts and mantle.
The picture below was taken at Caerhun on 25/02/2013. It showed neck-collar but less paler under-parts. I was told as it has no clear marks on the under-parts it is best to leave these birds un-identified. However, looking more like the Russian race soemmerringii with their darker looking upper-parts and a neck-collar, I think they could be from the messy turrium intergrate of monedula and spermologus or, could also be part of the off-spring from the ‘Nordic origin’ birds that have stayed in Wales and bred.
|Bird to be left un-identified, Caerhun|
After keeping an eye on some of these individuals, most of these birds have now gone. I wonder how many ‘neck collared’ birds are seen from April onwards. Most of the birds I have seen are in stubble fields with other Jackdaws. Interestingly the biggest congregation of Jackdaws is in Conwy itself, but doesn’t seem to contain any neck collared birds.
From this feedback, I feel I now know which birds are more likely to be ‘monedula’ and which ones to ignore. Feel free to disagree with anything here or add any suggestions etc.Final comment from Rudy
There is no chance of a full species status, but they are eastern birds and that's always a nice feature in Wales!