Will and I met at Out Rawcliffe for the final ringing effort of September after the 18 hours of rain on Wednesday eventually petered out to leave us with a fine, wind free start. We got the nets up pretty quick then headed back to base camp for a coffee in the half-light, in time to see an early riser Marsh Harrier drift over the distant stubble fields, harried as ever by Carrion Crows. Not a bad start to the day, but the harrier continued south from its roost and we didn’t see it at all later.
Initially our catching was slow, but improved as the sun came out. We caught 55 birds of 12 species, a good selection of 54 new birds, mainly finches but with the one recapture a Dunnock.
New birds: 26 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch,1 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Reed Bunting, 5 Meadow Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Coal Tit and 1 Willow Warbler. It’s getting fairly late now for Willow Warblers but if there’s going to be one or two “phylloscs” about they are often with a gang of “lottis”.
Overhead movement of both Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit was less pronounced this morning, with probably less than 100 pipits and possibly 200 Chaffinch, but both species were dropping in from a good height again, just as on recent clear mornings. Other obvious “vis” came in the shape of at least 10 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 alba wagtail and 8 Snipe, but our net rounds were busy, which restricted the pure birding intervals.
Other birds seen this morning: 7 Reed Bunting were extra to the ones caught, 5 Swallow, 2 Grey Partridge, 55 Skylark, 3 Jay, 4 Tree Sparrow, 18 Goldfinch, 8 Linnet, 1 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, 1 Peregrine and 2 Raven.
On my way off the farm I stopped to grab a photo of one of the Buzzards enjoying the warming air.