Sunday, November 6, 2011

When Will It End?

Before I could set off this morning I had to clear the windscreen of a little frost, the first real bite of the winter. Then as Will and I met up at 0630 on Rawcliffe Moss we saw the ground was white and crunchy underfoot.

It’s been a busy and successful year in the plantation, with over 1550 new birds ringed since 8th March, together with 230 recaptures, but in the last week or so migration has slowed to a virtual halt, with no second wave of thrushes to occupy our mornings. We thought today’s session might be the last of the year before we move to winter ringing sites, but we added another 49 birds, 40 new and 9 recaptures, including favoured target species. So we may just have another crack in a day or two before moving on to pastures old.

Today’s new birds: 15 Goldfinch, 10 Chaffinch, 8 Reed Bunting, 3 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Wren. Recaptures: 6 Goldfinch and 1 each of Great Tit, Dunnock and Reed Bunting.

The main features of the morning were the number of Goldfinch coming to Nyger feeders, plus the continued passage through the site of Reed Buntings. The sudden cold snap may have induced the local Goldfinches to visit our feeders and/or there are other Goldfinches moving through the area as they head south. Our Reed Bunting count for the morning was 20 individuals, a figure which includes the nine captures.

Once again thrushes were noticeable by their absence with just a dozen or so each of the two main culprits Redwing and Fieldfare in the hour after dawn. The three Blackbirds caught were quite large, long-winged individuals so we mentally assigned them to migratory status rather than back garden dwellers.

The juvenile Goldfinch shown immediately below was an early 0730 catch, momentarily reluctant to leave the relative comfort of our ringing station to head back into the cold morning air, the other a fine adult male.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Reed Bunting – first calendar year male

Reed Bunting – adult male

Fieldfare

Other sightings 0630 to 1130: 1 Barn Owl, 2 Tawny Owl, 2 Kestrel, 8 Whooper Swan, 7000+ Pink- footed Goose, 80+ Skylark, 8 Snipe, 2 Siskin and 4 Lesser Redpoll. The sight of 5 Roe Deer running across the pastures added to a fine morning's work and pleasure.

Roe Deer

5 comments:

Paco Sales said...

Ya tenéis las primeras heladas Phil, espero que todavía podáis seguir con vuestro trabajo y traernos imágenes tan bellas como las del primer plano del jilguero. Un abrazo Phil

chubskulit said...

Beautiful critter shots!

Late visiting from Camera Critters. The Hopper is my critter, please drop by when you get a chance. Thanks!

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the juvenile goldfinch, Phil, with that "do I really have to?" look on his face.
Sounds like a good day, especially with deer as a bonus.

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

Chris said...

Wow, we do not have frost over here at the moment, only rain, rain, rain.... Well done on this new captures, quite strange to see so many at this time of the year. Beautiful deer pictures you got too and the juvenile goldfinch which stayed on your ringing station was too nice :-)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The pasture with frost and the Roe Deer, MAGNIFICENT, such beauty, serene and lovely! The little young Goldfinch that was reluctant to leave, how charming were those few moments;)~

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