Saturday, October 20, 2012

No Thrush Rush, But A Belgian Treat

Out on Rawcliffe Moss at 0650 I’d set the nets in the dark again, leaving me time to grab a coffee before the hoped for arrival of thrushes. Nothing much happened, just a quiet morning and a smattering of birds at first light followed in the next hour or two by a steady passage of Lesser Redpolls with smaller numbers of Chaffinches. Recompense for the lack of thrushes came about 0830 in the form of a Lesser Redpoll wearing a ring from the Belgium Ringing Scheme. By 1030 the 5mph wind had both changed direction and increased to a strength sufficient to cause an end to the session. 

Birds caught: 6 Chaffinch, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird and 1 Redwing. Both of the Song Thrushes, the single Blackbird and the solitary Redwing were caught at first light. In all, the visible thrush movement consisted of less than 6 each of Blackbird, Redwing and Song Thrush, with a single Mistle Thrush seen overhead and travelling rapidly south. 

Redwing

Song Thrush

Other visible migration appeared as 5 Reed Bunting, 8 Meadow Pipit and a minimum of 18 Skylarks, the latter in smaller groups but heading south and into the wind.  Lesser Redpolls were very noticeable again today, with small parties overhead and a total of 30+ birds throughout the morning. The Belgian ringed bird proved to be an adult male, the ring number of 12231826 easy to decipher, the Brussels address less so, making one appreciate the quality of our UK rings. 

Brussels Ring

Lesser Redpoll - adult male

There seemed to be lots of Goldfinches on the move today, birds which didn’t make their way to the feeders where local birds hang out, so my count of 60+ almost certainly includes some visible migrants. A recaptured adult was only now in late October completing its full moult in the outermost primary feathers. 

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Other birds today: 3 Tawny Owls calling at dawn, and a hunting Barn Owl about the same time. Also, 2 Peregrine, 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Jay, 4 Snipe, 2 Pied Wagtail. 

 Pied Wagtail

Sunday’s forecast looks OK, less wind and a bright morning. Maybe those thrushes will arrive in numbers after all? If so read about it tomorrow on Another Bird Blog.

9 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Wow! They are all beautiful birds, Phil. I still love the Redpoll but now the Goldfinch is a beauty too. Awesome shots!

Stewart M said...

Good to see another retrap - birds on the move!

Thankfully my "nights on the town" are tame enough these days to take pictures on the way home!!

Stewart M - Australia

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Phil, I always enjoy what you write, not just your wonderful photography. I am always impressed by your birding expertise.
The colours of these birds are outstanding in brilliance and beauty.
Happy Sunday to you~

HansHB said...

Great photos, nice post!

TexWisGirl said...

that song thrush is so pretty. the pied wagtail, too. :)

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Phil, the details you provide on the birds is so interesting! The words and the photos!! Keep up the great, informative work. :)

Anni said...

Excellent. They're all so pretty. I think I like the markings on the Goldfinch, but hey....it's the color....ALL birds are beautiful.

I really like coming here, I learn so much.

NewMexiKen said...

That shot of the goldfinch flight feathers is so beautiful!

NewMexiKen said...

That shot of the goldfinch wing feathers is beautiful!

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