Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Lone Ringer And A Kite

No trusty companion for me today when the four letter word beginning “W” reared its ugly head for the other lads. Alone I went to Rawcliffe Moss hoping to find out more about the substantial Lesser Repoll passage which started last week and continues unabated. 

Another successful session saw a catch of 29 birds of just two species, 27 Lesser Redpoll and 2 Goldfinch, with once again nil recaptures. Today’s catch brings the total number of Lesser Redpoll ringed here to 81 individuals since 24th March, a tiny proportion of the several hundred which have passed over or through the site in the morning hours. 

A change today saw the redpolls arriving from a westerly, even north westerly direction, with a number of them leaving the site on the same axis by heading into the very slight south easterly breeze. In all I estimated 100+ redpolls this morning between 0700 and 1030 when I had to leave early for an appointment. Noticeable again today was the lack of males in the catch, just a single adult male from the 27, the remaining 26 either adult female or juvenile. Of these 81 Lesser Redpoll caught in less than a week, only 11 can definitely be allocated as males. 

The above makes me wonder if Lesser Redpolls adopt a similar wintering/migration strategy as other species and some finches in particular, i.e. young birds and especially young females migrate further south than adult males, and we are catching a number of birds leaving the south of England, France or Belgium and heading up to Scotland or Northern Ireland? None of the Lesser Redpoll caught this spring have carried noticeable fat deposits, and as diurnal migrants, even if travelling good distances, they are able to stop off and feed up quickly if required. 

Lesser Redpoll

Processing birds alone kept me pretty busy and so limiting any bird watching, but of note were 6 Yellowhammer, 2 Buzzard, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Partridge, 4 Linnet, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting.

Chiffchaff
 
 I was fairly well occupied with ringing so couldn’t find much time to take photographs today, and in any case they would only be more Lesser Redpolls wouldn’t they? The Roe Deer appeared in the half light of dawn when I switched to ISO3200. 

Roe Deer

Will tells me that after he got back home from ringing yesterday he watched a Red Kite over his house battling with both a Kestrel and a Buzzard. 

Red Kite

8 comments:

joo said...

Red Kite is a beauty! Lovely post!

Stuart Price said...

Took me a while to work out which 4 letter word you were talking about Phil.........I've been away from native english speakers too long.......

Russell said...

Agree. Lovely post. Amazing close-up of the redpoll. The deer and the kite all add such variety.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Redpoll image is absolutely brilliant Phil!!! Their colouration is one of my favorite colous in nature~

Seasons said...

Another informative post, Phil. Mr. Will missed out on a good day of birding and banding with you. Interesting to read of the migratory pattern of these birds in gender terms. Stunning close-up of the Lesser Redpoll (appropriate name) and the Red Kite in flight. Also saw the image of a Yellowhammer in your earlier post. A formidable name for a tiny bird. Thanks for sharing the fun!

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the photo of the chiffchaff, Phil. It's a calendar photo for sure. We have another mystery bird, lots of photos in Dick's camera, but we're away and won't get them posted for a couple of weeks. Definitely some kind of sandpiper, probably a curlew. Or nine curlews. He got some great shots and we've hunted and hunted online but can't make a final identification. Looking forward to posting them.
K

Christian said...

Hi Phil

I love the Redpoll - saw my first ever at my parent's house in Withnell a couple of weeks ago.

Great news about the RED KITE! Eyes to the skies Lancashire!

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

That redpoll has a really beautiful colour on its breast. I love the Chiffchaff photo as well. Remember seeing a lot in India. Sadly, we don't get it here in Thailand.

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