After clear overnight a slight ground frost greeted us at Rawcliffe this morning, and with the air temperature showing just 5 degrees Will and I donned extra clothes as we set to in erecting a few nets. By 11am and with the sun up high we’d shed a few layers after another interesting and fruitful morning of finches and warblers.
We caught 27 birds of 8 species, 26 new and a single recapture of a recent Chaffinch. New birds: 14 Chaffinch, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Robin and 1 Goldcrest.
Because of the clear blue sky Chaffinches were passing over very high this morning, sometimes unseen but mostly giving themselves away with their constant contact calls. Including today the August Chaffinch total stands at 36 birds, 31 juveniles and 5 adults, a ratio which should remain the same throughout September and October until the inland movement of Chaffinches here dries up. On cold mornings we occasionally get Chaffinches reluctant to leave the warmth of the ringing station, but after a minute or so they fly off.
We didn’t see any more than the two Willow Warblers caught, both juveniles.
There’s still a few Whitethroats about and we saw at least seven today, four of which we caught including another adult. And it’s always nice to catch a Garden Warbler.
We found our first Goldcrest of the autumn in a net with a few Chaffinches.
Goldcrest - The Smallest UK Bird
Other visible migration: 8/10 Siskin over, all heading south, but just a single Lesser Redpoll. Approximately 15/20 high Meadow Pipits appearing from not any particular direction but leaving towards the west. Other “vis” - 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail and 6 Snipe.
Raptors today were a Tawny Owl at dawn, our first Merlin of the autumn, 1 Kestrel and a Marsh Harrier which appeared not to see us sat against the background of Will’s motor, allowing me to nail a half decent picture at last.
From yesterday's post, and for readers who asked, after I spoke to the lady in Pilling, it seems the dead Sparrowhawk was found next to a car parked on the driveway. It had probably chased a small bird but hit the car windows at speed instead.
Stay tuned, more on Another Bird Blog soon.