Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Early Doors And Late Gropper

We spotted a break in the wet weather for this morning so Will and I met up at 0600 hours for another crack at Out Rawcliffe. Maybe it was too much to hope for another big push of finches and Meadow Pipits and another “mega” catch as no two days are ever alike, but we didn’t do too badly. Our interesting and absorbing five hour session reached a total of 39 birds, 38 new and 1 recaptured Dunnock.

The 38 new birds were 19 Chaffinch, 9 Meadow Pipits, 4 Reed Bunting and 1 each of Dunnock, Blue Tit, Robin, Great Tit, Lesser Redpoll and Grasshopper Warbler. By 20th September it’s quite late to find skulking Grasshopper Warblers up here in the north west of the UK, as in most years “groppers” are not seen beyond mid-August. For readers not familiar with Grasshopper Warbler the name refers to their reeling, insect-like song and not any part of the species’ appearance.

Grasshopper Warbler

Grasshopper Warbler

Meadow Pipit

Unlike the past week the visible migration of most species during the 5 hours was down on the past week’s high numbers but still evident from north to south: Meadow Pipit 120, Chaffinch up to 170, Lesser Redpoll 40+, Siskin 10+. Our catch of 4 Reed Buntings indicates the beginning of their movement south, always apparent here during September but more so in October. The sight of two early morning Song Thrushes departing the planation and then heading strongly south may also herald the beginning of the thrush season.

Reed Bunting

Lesser Redpoll

More in evidence today were Skylarks, with upwards of 60 birds flying from east to west, particularly noticeable as a bank of cloud spread to the south about mid-morning. The fields on the moss are pretty wet by now, a fact which led to us seeing about 45 Snipe this morning as they were disturbed off their puddles and then flew off and around in various directions, at one point pushed off a wet patch by a wandering Roe Deer.

Snipe

Roe Deer

Other birds and “locals” seen this morning included 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 2 Kestrel, 5 Buzzard, 1 Tawny Owl, 2 Golden Plover, 60+ Goldfinch and 60+ Linnet.

At dawn we had seen a Wheatear perched on one of the hay bales after which it disappeared from view. It was only as we drove off site hours later that I saw it again some fifty yards away from our ringing station.

Wheatear

5 comments:

Seasons said...

Hey Phil! These birds (and Roe Deer) are each a beauty. I like how you guys hold them. They are so calm. Very meticulous numbers and categorization of species. Good job getting up at 6 am, and sharing these excellent pictures. How do the numbers match up against last year's so far?

Kay L. Davies said...

Another wonderful post, Phil. I love the last photo. And the snipe looks too small for its bill.

Stu said...

Grasshopper Warbler was a good find, I've never seen one in the UK (just heard one in Scotland once).

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Always nice to see a Locustella warbler! The deer also seems to be posing for you so well :)

Paco Sales said...

Vaya madrugón te pegas amigo Phil, suerte que tuvisteis 38 nuevas aves, un trabajo apasionante y bello el tuyo. Un abrazo para ti amigo

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