Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Dearth of 3Js

Our morning at Out Rawcliffe started on a high when at the barn I spotted a juvenile Little Owl which looked as though it had very recently vacated a nest, a 1J as ringers label them – a newly fledged chick but capable of limited flight only. A minute later Ian and Will came down the lane, then after Ian ringed the owl it sat on the barn wall long enough for me to take one picture before a flight of sorts took it a few yards into nearby vegetation; the parent birds would be close to and soon find the youngster.

Little Owl – 1J

Little Owl - adult

Up at the plantation thing were fairly quiet with18 birds caught, 10 new and 8 recaptures. New birds: 4 Whitethroat, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Great Tit and 3 Willow Warbler. Recaptures: 2 Sedge Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Great Tit and 1 Blackcap.

Blackcap

Whitethoat- adult male

Whitethroat – juvenile, 3J

At the end of June we hope for but also expect catches with lots of new juveniles (3Js), especially in an area where we know many pairs of insectivorous Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Sedge Warbler were present throughout April and May. Normally by late June/July, juvenile birds should outnumber adults by at least 4 to 1. Therefore so it was a little disconcerting this morning when we found that of the ten new birds, only five of them were 3Js and the three new Willow Warblers were all adults in advanced stages of moult, their feather renewal a sign that for them at least the breeding season is over. As ever, only time and more visits will give us an idea of this year’s breeding success but we await with interest the onset of a quantity of true post-juvenile dispersal rather than the limited indications of our ringing site.

Birding wise things were also fairly quiet but the calm, nearly wind-free and partially sunny morning brought out a few Skylarks and caused a return of the Corn Bunting that hadn’t sung from the ditch side hawthorn for weeks.

Corn Bunting

Skylark

"Otherwise" birds: 2 Buzzard, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 15 Swift, 2 Reed Bunting, 1 Yellowhammer, 4 Linnet, 15 Goldfinch, 2 Blackbird and one unidentified, escapee 3J owl that left downy feathers in our mist net.

9 comments:

NatureFootstep said...

wow, that little owl is soo cute. It is almost too cute. :)

mick said...

Very interesting day and one with more questions than answers. That's what keeps me going back to the usual sites to get more data over an extended time period. The juvenile owl is very cute!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Awe Phil, the Little Owl is a beauty, what a little charmer! The Whitethroats sure are an attractive bird. Have a very pleasant and safe week ~

Mama Zen said...

That first shot of the owl is just stunning. What a beauty!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...darn... there is nothing any worse than having down feathers in your mist net!!
Well maybe briars in your britches!!
The little Owl youngster is a comical looking little guy and cute all at the same time!! Glad you had that opportunity!!
Just curious now..don't get your feathers ruffle..but are you sure that those two buzzards weren't you and Will ????

Gallicissa said...

Lovely expression in the little Little Owl.

Seasons said...

As it appears unanimous, the owls will always look amazing, especially the baby owl. I must also say, that all the other birds look very relaxed while you are holding them. That is very nice to see. Thank you!

Chris said...

oh mamma mia!!! What a gorgeous message Phil... Beautiful shots of the little owl but the rest is very nice too... Well done..

Ari said...

That little Owl is so adorable...and you made him look very cute, Phil

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