Sunday, September 25, 2011

Double Dilemma

Late on Saturday Will and I had the same dilemma. On Sunday morning should we burn rubber up to Glasson Dock for sight of a Lesser Yellowlegs, or burn calories on Rawcliffe Moss trudging around the mist nets yet again for further Chaffinch and Meadow Pipits? After all, before any Sunday session we had caught 225 Chaffinch and 182 Meadow Pipits on site this year, so why bother with more?

Lesser Yellowlegs by USFWS

We both agreed, a “lesserlegs” is much like a Redshank and as we have seen them both, we really ought to continue with our recent ringing tasks. So we made another 0630 start and then set the usual nets.

Today's was another tiring effort but an excellent catch of 66 birds of 7 species, 64 new and 2 recaptures. New birds: 25 Chaffinch, 20 Meadow Pipit, 9 Reed Bunting, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackbird and 1 Blue Tit. Recaptures were 2 Chaffinch, one first ringed in February 2009, and a more recent bird ringed in August. The 3 new Chiffchaffs pushed our total for here to 22 birds for the year, high by local standards.

Chiffchaff

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

Goldfinch

This morning’s visible migration proved a very stop-start affair with an early push of both Meadow Pipits and Chaffinches followed by periods of quiet and little obvious movement of birds. The slow periods coincided with belts of cloud to the south that moved slowly north and east, and at 0915 a front of drizzle that threatened to put paid to the morning. Luckily the sprinkle of water did little in the way of even wetting the nets, just the ringing gear on Will’s truck. When we packed in at 1130 we had counted circa 250 Meadow Pipits heading south but a higher count of finches, with 350+ Chaffinch, c40 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Siskin and 3 Greenfinch.

Weighing a “mipit”

Meadow Pipit

The movement of Reed Buntings was very marked this morning, so to our catch of 9 we added another 25+ birds which moved south with pipits and finches. Other “vissers”, 2 Grey Wagtail, 5 Alba wagtails, 1 Mistle Thrush, 40+ Skylark, 40+ Swallow.

Local birds today: 2 Buzzard, 1 Raven, 2 Tawny Owl calling at dawn, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 5 Jay, 1 Snipe, 30 House Martin, 20 Swallow.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Cool you got the yellowleg! We got one here two weeks ago but I missed it ;-) You got a pretty nice day. To my surprise, there are still a lot of meadow pipits around here ;-)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Had to smile, for when I first observed the Mipit in the tiny cup on the scale, I thought it may have fallen into a steaming hot cup of brew...whew;) Those little birds certainly get tender care from you two, and the numbers rising slowly yet, surely, good work~

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent and very nice photographs.

Regards and best wishes

Seasons said...

Hi Phil, I can tell by your enthusiam to share the numbers of birds before the pictures, apparently you had a good birding day. That Pipit shot is a new one, and funny as Mary said. These little birds are so beautiful. The word boring is thrown out of the dictionary. Enjoy, and please keep sharing. Thanks.

eileeninmd said...

Too bad you couldn't go for both the ringing and the yellowlegs. I love your photos and the cute birds. Happy birding and have a great week!

Craig said...

The correct decision, great stuff. Craig

grammie g said...

HI Phil...Thanks for showing how you weigh those little fellars...It looked pretty funny at first ..I thought what in the devil is that all about!! : }
I am still amazed at the bird counts you do...you and Will are a couple of good guys!! ; }

Grace

Paco Sales said...

Valió la pena amigo Phil, un gran numero de nuevas capturas. Curiosa imagen la del pesaje de las aves. Un buen trabajo amigo Phil, un abrazo para ti

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