Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chilly Ringing

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. 

Reed Bunting

"Fault Bars" - Reed Bunting

Male Reed Buntings show a greyish white neck collar, a feature which females lack. 

Reed Bunting

All three Chaffinch proved to be females. 

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

Wren

Coal Tit 

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. 

Corn Bunting

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.

9 comments:

Rohrerbot said...

I can feel the cold from your post:) When it moves you enough to write about it, you know it's a cold one:) I still prefer the cold over the heat and humidity. In my little part of the world, it's perfection now and I'm enjoying it. We'll get those chilly numbers in January and February, but for now, it's a little bit of perfection. Love your adventures and birds. Very fun finds again today.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

That little Wren is really sweet Phil. The colouration of the feathers of the Reed Buntings sure are lovely. Have a Happy and safe weekend~

Findlay Wilde said...

Brilliant pictures again, I really like the first picture. I would be happy ringing in the cold. From Findlay

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Very good pictures of this beautiful little birds .. Regards ..

Kay L. Davies said...

Are buntings a kind of finch, Phil? Their beaks look rather finch-ish to me.
The buntings and chaffinches are cute, Phil, but the wren and the coal tit captured my heart today.
I haven't been through all Dick's photos of our latest river cruise in Europe, but we may have some "name this bird" questions for you yet.
K

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I always enjoy the details in your photos and writings. Wonderful!

Ken Schneider said...

That is interesting how malnutrition affects the feather color and quality. A bit like tree rings.

EG CameraGirl said...

The reed bunting is a handsome bird. Hope you have a great weekend.

Wally Jones said...

Sounds like a decent ringing day. Except for that "cold" thing. My tropical blood is too thin for such weather. I'm nowhere near as hardy as Findlay!

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