Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thrush Rush

The venue today was Rawcliffe Moss, where despite the slightly “iffy” wind direction that restricted net choice, Will and I hoped for a catch of early morning thrushes fresh in from Northern Europe. We set the nets in the dark and then waited for dawn and the arrival of Redwings, Fieldfares and perhaps a few Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.

There was just a short interval before the birds arrived in droves at 0715, mainly Redwings but with a good proportion of Fieldfares. Within the next hour we estimated the overhead passage at 800+ Redwings and 200+ Fieldfares, although we almost certainly missed many more whilst checking nets and ringing the ones we had. But the constant stream of birds stopped as suddenly as it started, and by 0830 all was quiet except for small parties of stragglers. After 0900 we switched our attention to Chaffinches and bumped up our numbers of that species together with a few other finches.

In all we captured 39 birds of 9 species, 36 new and 3 recaptures. New: 16 Chaffinch, 10 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Blackbird, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Great Tit and 1 Goldfinch. Recaptures: 2 Chaffinch and 1 Robin

Redwing

Fieldfare

Coal Tit

Redwing

Lesser Redpoll

Visible migration was difficult to gauge in the bright,blue, morning sky but in addition to the northern thrushes we estimated 200+ Chaffinch, 20+ Siskin and 9+ Lesser Redpoll, circa 10 Reed Bunting, 5 Greenfinch, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Swallow.

Other birds: 1 Barn Owl, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 750 Pink-footed Goose.

Redwing

6 comments:

Modesto Viegas said...

Great day!!!
congratulations!

chubskulit said...

So beautiful!

Please come see my Critters, when you get a chance. Happy weekend!

EG Wow said...

It's amazing that so many bird fly through in such a short amount of time. Sounds like you had a good day!

Stu said...

No winter thrushes here yet (though I did see my first eagles of the season today).

Can't believe how often I see redpolls on your posts, I hardly ever saw them in the NW.......

eileeninmd said...

Great day of banding. The bird photos are all wonderful. My favorites are the Coal Tit and the Redpoll. But they are all beautiful birds and photos.

Madibirder said...

Hi Phil,
Beautiful Robin. It'll be interesting to know the outcome of the study.

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