Friday, August 26, 2011

Autumn Assortment

It’s almost September so at Out Rawcliffe today our recent strategy changed from that of catching summer warblers to more of an autumn targeted one, aiming firstly for a catch of finches, then secondly the notion that any warblers that come along are a bonus.

We started the morning on a double disaster when firstly Will discovered that he forgot to put coffee in his flask of hot water and milk! Worse was to come when putting nets up in the dawn light we disturbed a Roe Deer that promptly panicked in the direction of where we had just set Will’s almost new 60 foot net. When we checked the net the deer had indeed crashed right through, snapped the bottom strand and left netting all over the vegetation. Such a net costs almost £100 – an expensive morning out. We put the net incident behind us as Will persevered with his warm, milky water refreshment for the rest of the morning, I sipped my flawless coffee whilst steady catching kept us both occupied.

We totted up a good selection of 12 species with 36 new birds and a single recapture. Of the 36 new birds 18 were finches, 14 warblers and 4 miscellaneous. New birds: 9 Chaffinch, 8 Linnet, 1 Goldfinch, 5 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Great Tit and 1 Tree Pipit, the latter one our fourth of the autumn here. The single recapture was a still moulting adult Whitethroat.

Robin

Willow Warbler

Tree Pipit

Linnet

Garden Warbler

One of the Chiffchaffs captured was a very smart, bright juvenile, very smart in fact because as I held the bird for a photograph it snapped at and caught a passing fly.

Chiffchaff

Chiffchaff

The bird watching was subdued this morning and the overall catch better than our simply birding observations might suggest, with 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit and c40 Chaffinch overhead. Although welcome autumn additions, today’s Linnet and Goldfinch captures represent a small proportion of the two species on site with a sometimes mixed flock of 300+ birds. Otherwise we saw 80/100 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 2 Raven heading inland again, 1 Great=spotted Woodpecker, 1 Skylark, 1 Kestrel and 30+ Lapwing keeping company with a single Golden Plover.

12 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow, I know housewives would love to have that smart little bird to catch flies in their homes, Phil. What a great "capture" as they say in photography circles!
Wish I could put a couple of photos in your comment box because we saw some birds in Russia this month and couldn't (because we know nothing) figure out what they are. I'm slowly wading through "Birds of Russia" online and will figure it out eventually. The only one we identified was the Hooded Crow. Very interesting to North Americans.
Meanwhile, I'm still enjoying your blog very much.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

SteveE said...

amazing to see that Chiffchaff going about business as usual whilst in the hand. It should put plenty of fat on with mouthfuls like that.

Seasons said...

Beautiful images of the Robin and Tree Pipit. And I see, you had a little token of thanks for the Chiffchaff in the last picture. I always like it when you are able to get pictures with the bird in hand.

Russell said...

Some beautiful portraits esecially of the robin and smart chiffcaff.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Robin's expression is priceless as is your tale of what happened to poor Will this morning. I must say, the hot watered milk, minus the coffee sounds pretty boring, and well a bit yuckey, but the net, now that is a shame. Hopefully it can be fixed some way~

Paco Sales said...

Vaya comienzo accidentado Phil, pero esto son gajes del oficio no?, una bellísimas capturas me encanta la de la mosca en el pico, genial trabajo amigo mío, recibe un fuerte abrazo

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I know I am late,but hurricane Irene has things a little disorganized!!

Your lucky that warm milk and water didn't make you nod of ..they say warm milk is good if you can't sleep lol

You sure was of to a running start weren't you ..could anything else have happened??
I do like you Robin's photo "priceless" and the birds bug catch is great!!

If I disappear for a day or more you'll know that I have lost my internet service..thanks to Irene!!

Grace

Twiggy said...

Great captures as always!

Gretchen said...

Wonderful "captures"!!

Andrew said...

I have just had a lovely browse around your blog... I really enjoyed my visit.
Many thanks for sharing.

Errol said...

You'll have to have a 'whip round' for Will to pay for a new net. It happened to me once - two 60' nets sabotaged by a flight of Mallard! Perhaps, if Will wrote 'COFFEE' in permanent marker on the outside of his flask ...
Take care; I'm sure there are some good birds still to come.

Kat said...

the fly-snatching chiffchaff is such a wonderful shot, I just had to smile! (and it must have been fun to see!). I guess it is also good to know that the bird is so unperturbed by your handling that he seizes the chance for a little snack!

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