A Jack Frost morning saw me return to Rawcliffe Moss after yesterday spotting a good number of Reed Buntings feeding on wheat spillage near the plantation. Today I counted 30 or so Reed Buntings dodging in and out of the field, so put up a couple of nets close by in the hope of catching a few. At the moment it seems to be mainly Reed Buntings showing an interest in the abandoned crop, with otherwise a small number of Chaffinch.
After a couple of hours I’d caught 9 Reed Bunting, 3 Chaffinch, 1 Blackbird, 1 Wren and also recaptured a Coal Tit first ringed here 30 September 2010.
Apart from one, all the Reed Buntings appeared to be first year birds, the tail below still showing fault bars caused by the poor feeding opportunities of the wet and cold summer.
"Fault Bars" - Reed Bunting
Male Reed Buntings show a greyish white neck collar, a feature which females lack.
All three Chaffinch proved to be females.
A number of other birds were seen nearby: 6 Snipe, 4 Skylark, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 8 Goldfinch, 12 Corn Bunting, 40 Tree Sparrow, 60+ Chaffinch, and then 2 Kestrel and a single Buzzard.
On the way home through Town End, Out Rawcliffe I chanced upon a mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare, circa 120 and 80 respectively. After seeing mere handfuls of each species of late the sudden appearance of bigger numbers may be the result of the severe frost of Wednesday night. Along the same road, another Kestrel and Buzzard.
Looks like another woolly hat, warm scarf and thermal gloves day tomorrow for Another Bird Blog, so no early morning heroics, just a trip out someplace. Log in soon to find out just where and when.