Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where Were You?

Yes, the blog is back after several more days’ forced inactivity thanks to the good old British weather.

Will and I had high hopes this morning that the many birds held up in the past few days would head south over Rawcliffe Moss with some urgency this morning. With the first autumn frost crunching underfoot we erected nets in the dark, grabbed a quick coffee, and then waited for birds to arrive at first light. The anticipated flood of birds appeared to be less than a trickle of thrushes, with just 25 Redwing and 12 Fieldfare arriving soon after dawn before drying up completely, leaving us wondering where they are.

At times the session was slow, but we persevered and the 4 hour stint ended up with a good selection of 25 birds of 8 species, 23 new and 2 recaptures. New: 11 Chaffinch, 5 Reed Bunting and 3 Goldfinch, with 1 each of the target thrush species, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare.

Reed Bunting - male

Reed Bunting- female

Song Thrush

Fieldfare

Redwing

Compared to recent weeks even the movement of finches was lighter this morning, with less than 150 Chaffinches throughout the morning, approximately 10 Siskin, not a single Redpoll, but 2 or more Brambling. Reed Buntings were again conspicuous with 12 or more birds overhead or lingering on site, but the Meadow Pipit passage may be over with less than 20 birds over and south today. Eleven new Chaffinches pushed our site total for new captures of this species to 350 this autumn.

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

The other birding was pretty quiet too: A Barn Owl and 3 Tawny Owls at dawn, 13 Alba wagtail, 15 Tree Sparrow, 8 Linnet, 8 Snipe and 9 Whooper Swans, the latter our first ones of the beckoning winter.

Whooper Swan

7 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

The whooper swans are magnificent, Phil, but I always like the little finches and their friends.
I'm always amazed how calm they look when you and your friends hold them. They don't look terrified, even when they're being banded (er, ringing, you call it).
I'll be having the birds you identified for me (thanks again) on "Camera Critters" this weekend, probably the last of my Russian blog-posts until I use "Yaroslavl" for the letter Y in ABC Wednesday.

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

Paco Sales said...

Cuatro horas bien aprovechadas Phil, magnífico reportaje y bien ilustrado, aquí hoy también hace ya un día de invierno, frío, viento y lluvia. Un abrazo Phil

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Hi, glad to see you back and those Whooper Swans, what a brilliant image Phil, such great lighting to show them off so very well. Each of your songbirds, very sweet! Have a good evening~

Christian said...

I love the image of the swans Phil - magnificent creatures!

chubskulit said...

Beautiful capture!

Late visiting from Camera Critters. Please come and see some MOTHS at my page. Have a blessed Sunday!

Blue Hill Escape said...

Hi Phil - sounds like its time to do some wintering in the southern hemisphere - you are invited of course:)- ringers stay for free.

As for your swallows, I have yet to see any at my site, although reports from our west coast say some birds have arrived. They will arrive up here in the mountains later.

Seasons said...

Phil, that Chaffinch makes me want to stoke its head gently and befriend it. Well, all these birds actually...true for all of them. I mentioned once before, appreciating pictures where you have a bird in your hand. It is a wonderful pleasure; a good work. Thanks.

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