Tuesday, 5 February 2013

'Scandinavian' Jackdaw-Morfa Madryn

This bird is with c20 Jackdaws, 30 Carrion Crows and 20 Rook in the field between the railway track and A55 nearest to the car park. Poor pictures due to distance and the strong light being behind the bird. Freezing fingers don't help either. The whitish neck collar is more pronounced in the field. Stands out amongst the other 'British' Jackdaws.

Common Chiffchaff in the car-park too.

There is a more obvious 'Monedula' Jackdaw in the stubble field north of Caerhun churchyard. It flew off to roost before I could photograph it on thursday. Its again with hundreds of Carrion Crows and c50 Jackdaws.


  1. Interesting Rob, and well done for recording these 'white collared' birds.
    We had a long discussion regarding 'monedula' and 'soemmerrengii' Jackdaws in the WRP AGM over the weekend.
    There is a strong school of thought at the moment that these birds are in the 'normal' variation of our own 'spermologus' Jackdaws. This theory is strengthened by the fact that several of this type of bird seem to breed in Wales - examples of white collared birds breeding have been seen on Anglesey, Criccieth, Aberdaron etc.
    Whether some true 'monedula' have arrived in the past and influenced the gene pool of our Western Jackdaws is another question. However, 'monedula' do seem to be quite scarce on the east coast, so it does seem unusual that we have regular records over here.
    Jackdaws are a bit of a mystery when it comes to migration but large flocks do move west in the autumn and this can be seen at places like the Orme and Bardsey. An example was given of a 2000+ Jackdaws appearing from the north at Scillies a few years ago - so they are obviously migratory.
    WRP's stance will be to collect all future records to get some kind of picture of national these birds, but assign them to a category - showing characteristics of Scandanavian / Russian Jackdaw.

    Keep up the good work Rob.

  2. Found this info below, interesting that they influx into Scillies and Northern Scotland.

    Described as a scarce Autumn migrant on Fair Isle, it had an influx of 85 on 24th Oct, 2007, increased to 114 on 25th. These birds were exhibiting varying amounts of’ pale grey in the napes’, indicating Scandinavian origin. This is the highest influx since 22nd Oct 1979 when 90 turned up, increasing to 270 on the 25th. In contrast, none were recorded in the autumn of 2008.

    Whilst searching for examples of Monedula Jackdaws on the East Coast, it is possible to find plenty of pictures of presumed monedula Jackdaws. However, they aren’t recorded at county level or a country level like in Wales. They are probably being seen but not recorded. Orkney and Shetland don’t actually ask for records or ‘monedula’ birds and I am sure this is the same for many other counties. I must admit had I not looked at the bottom of the Wales scarce bird list I wouldn’t have taken pictures of the birds or thought about submitting them.