Sunday, October 14, 2012

Redwing Time

It was another 6am start out on Rawcliffe Moss with ideal weather for a spot of ringing, no wind and no sign of rain, at least initially. The idea was to catch a few Redwings, maybe Fieldfares, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes, overnight migrant thrushes which are often still on the move at dawn or soon after. 

Apart from a sharp shower which caused me to close the nets for thirty minutes, I worked through until 11am with a catch of 30 birds of 8 species. After an initial hit of thrushes the morning followed the theme of recent weeks with Goldfinches and Chaffinches to the fore. Totals: 8 Chaffinch, 7 Goldfinch, 6 Redwing , 3 Coal Tit, 2 Blackbird, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Chiffchaff. 

The Redwings and Blackbirds were indeed caught at first light or soon after with the Redwing arrivals consisting of small parties only, the largest a group of 30+ birds, the smallest and last a party of four at almost 10am making a total of less than 100. The Sparrowhawk was caught at dawn too, the young male targeting arriving Redwings but instead finding itself in a mist net. Luckily for me working alone, a male Sparrowhawk is infinitely easier to contain than the much larger female. 

Redwing

Redwing

Sparrowhawk- juvenile male

 Sparrowhawk

Three new Coal Tits today, not a large number, but obviously representative of this year’s irruption of the species. Yet more Goldfinches to add to the 120 here this year, many of today’s still in the mainly juvenile plumage of late broods, the one below a juvenile male - black nasal hairs, red extending behind the eye, longish wing. 

Coal Tit

Goldfinch

Goldcrest

Here on the moss the autumn Chaffinch passage has been markedly thinner than that of the last two years, with the movement quite slow today, as reflected in the catch of eight and the number overhead at less than 40 during the shower interrupted session. This could be the simple explanation that visits have been less during poor weather of September and/or single observer visits when another pair of eyes and hands would be useful.

Other “vis” today 2 Siskin, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Reed Bunting, 5 Pied/White Wagtail, 10+ Meadow Pipit. Other birds: A loose feeding flock of 350+ Woodpigeon, 6,000 Pink-footed Goose feeding in nearby fields, 30+ Snipe, 2 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Jay, 20+ Tree Sparrow.

Pied Wagtail

Please tune in soon to Another Bird Blog for more birds, bird watching and photography.

This week I'm linking with Anni at http://id-rather-b-birdin.blogspot.co.uk/ and Stewart's Photo gallery

23 comments:

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas fotos Phil.Saludos

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

So many awesome detail on these beautiful birds. The eye of the sparrowhawk is amazing as is the flecks of red on the top of the goldfinch's head. Impressive.

HansHB said...

A great serie of photos with a lot of details to see in every one of them!

Anni said...

Wonderful....I don't know where to begin, but I do know I admire your 'up and early start' on your ringing project. Beautiful birds Phi. I am in awe of what you do.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, these are gorgeous photos! The birds are all great. I can not imagine handling the Sparrowhawk. I just love your Goldfinch and the Goldcrest. Wonderful post, happy birding!

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Millie said...

Beautiful photos! It must be fascinating to be that up close and personal with the birds. Mine is here. http://edenhills.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/molting-2/

Gary Jones said...

Some cracking photos Phil, I really think ringing is something I would love to have a go at!

Stuart Price said...

That Goldfinch looks like it has a nasty case of avian acne.

Larry said...

Beautiful close-ups of all the birds Phil! The Sparrow Hawk would have to be my fave although that Goldfinch with the orange feather tufts is pretty darn cute.

jacobmontereal said...

Oh, what a beautiful birds. I love to see this very cute.

Jacob of bird watching Philippines

Adam Jones said...

Great to see the Redwings back.

Adam Jones said...

Great to see the Redwings back.

EG CameraGirl said...

Your closeups are fantastic!

mick said...

All great close-up photos but the Sparrowhawk is especially good.

Modesto Viegas said...

Great serie!!!

NewMexiKen said...

It's great seeing those birds so close up and personal! Thank you!

Marie said...

How wonderful to be involved with banding these birds and getting to see and touch them up close. They are all so beautiful!

Neil said...

That hawk sure has sharp claws.Some of the other birds look so tiny.Beautiful.

Stewart M said...

Great set of shots - the close ups you can get while banding are wonderful.

Birds of prey in the net can throw things into chaos for while. But they are wonderful (if occasionally painful!) in the hand.

Thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Australia

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Masterful, really brilliant images Phil, all of them, and the Sparrow Hawk...whoosh gorgeous~

Kerri said...

Excellent images! Wonderful detail!

DeniseinVA said...

Marvelous photos, and I especially enjoyed the one of the Sparrowhawk's talons.

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