Saturday, January 5, 2013

Slowly….

With a capital “S” became the order of the day at Out Rawcliffe when catching just 24 birds took up four hours of the morning. Of the 24 birds caught, 15 were new ones, with 8 recaptures and a single “control”, a bird ringed elsewhere: 11 Chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch,3 Reed Bunting, 2 Dunnock, 1 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Brambling. 

The "control" bird a second calendar year male Reed Bunting, Y763574, was quite well advanced into acquiring the black headed appearance of a spring and summer male. 

Reed Bunting

In all there were approximately 18 Reed Buntings in the area again, similar number to recent weeks and days. As most of them now manage to keep clear of the nets, the new birds I continue to catch must be precisely that, newcomers to the site. It was quite unusual to recapture 5 Chaffinch today, one of them first ringed here in September 2007, so now a good age for a Chaffinch. 

The plumage confirms an adult, well demarcated tertial feathers and well rounded, even “squared off” tail feathers. There’s an adult male for comparison. 

Chaffinch - adult female

Chaffinch - adult male

Although I caught 11 Chaffinch there didn’t seem many about until the shoot on a neighbouring farm caused 200+ birds to scatter from the stubble. There were probably Bramblings amongst the flock as I saw and heard at least 5 about the nets today, catching just the single female. Looking at the bird’s dirty bill, it too had probably flown over from the same peaty stubble field. 

Brambling

A number of Goldfinch appear to be attaining full breeding plumage, like the male below - black nasal hairs and red extending beyond the eye. 

Goldfinch

The slow ringing allowed time to look about and around, although not much happened until the nearby shoot disturbed many feeding birds. As previously mentioned, 200+ Chaffinch, 30+ Fieldfare, 25 + Redwing, 2000+ Wood Pigeon, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 2 Lesser Redpoll and 7 Corn Bunting. One of the Corn Buntings sung a brief melody from the regular spring and summer fence posts nearby.

Corn Bunting

Slowly but surely, Spring will soon be here. 

Join Another Bird Blog soon and watch time fly. In the meantime visit Weekly Top Shot , Anni's Blog and Stewart's Photo Gallery for more birds and cool photography.

29 comments:

Rohrerbot said...

Let's not rush spring:) I'm so enjoying the winter temps! Great up close shots of these birds. Nice work here.....as for idiot farmers shooting guns into the sky......I won't go there. The morons in New Mexico would shoot into the sky to chase off the cranes from their fields....and where do those bullets go? While Arizona is not a smart state in the larger US puzzle, there was a law created to keep people from doing that kind of thing....all because one of those bullets fell and killed a girl. Give an idiot a gun......it wasn't until our trip to Bosque that I realized farmers do this kind of thing. Like your report as always. The positive side is that you were able to count the 200 plus:) Happy Birding!

Linda Makiej said...

These are really wonderful!

Carol L McKenna said...

Wow! Fantastic photography of nature's beautiful birds ~ I am awed.

A Creative Harbor aka ArtMuseDog and Carol)

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I glad you think so about spring that is !! Soon is the wrong word ...not soon enough is what it should be!! Two nights at 2 degrees above zero and this morning 36 above.. go figure !!
I think I would come up flying myself if had been in that field !!
When I read of your bird count list I always want to say ..and Partridge in a pair tree ; )
You know I used to know this old fella who had black nasal hairs and red extending beyond his eyes..he was a alcoholic! hee-hee!!
I think it is time for me to depart my friend so until next time..
Grace

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

The colors on the goldfinch are so beautiful. The corn bunting looks like our purple house finch. Looks like a wonderful day out in the field. :)

Anni said...

That close-up of the with the striking auburn 'hair-do' is awesome. Of course, I have come to expect greatness on your blog posts. I have said it before, and I'll repeat....I admire what you do.

Thanks for linking up at the Bird D'Pot this weekend. Your contributions are always appreciated.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Beautiful birds!

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful birds, Phil! Your photos are wonderful. The random shooting is scary, recently a Maryland girl died from a bullet shot in the air on New Years Eve. I am already wishing Spring was here. Happy Birding!

Stuart Price said...

Birds singing? Thinking of spring already? Wow, wish I could say the same.

Nice Corn Bunting pic, I used to love watching them in the farmland next to the Ribble before they became so scarce.......

The Retired One said...

Wow, that goldfinch closeup was awesome...we have goldfinch here in spring summer and fall, but I don't recall the rust color on top of their heads.
I am your newest "follower"...I take nature and sometimes bird photos too, you and your readers are welcome to follow my blog too, I'd love that! It is at:
http://myretirementchronicles.blogspot.com

Gary said...

Beautiful shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Madge Bloom said...

That little Reed Bunting has unusual, pretty markings... Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #64!

PinkOddy said...

What wonderful close ups. And love that you show the differences.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

That is a lot of time put in and so few birds, but at least you were out and about, doing what you enjoy.
Those Reed Buntings... such handsome guys...and already getting some of thier Spring feathering...yeah, it is slowly on it's way.
Have a Happy week Phil~

Ken Schneider said...

Great close-up plumage shots and information!

Ahayes1225 said...

Very pretty birds. So different from where I live.

Genie Robinson said...

That male Goldfinch is drop dead gorgeous.How in the world do you catch the birds to examine them? I need to Goggle it. Such a fine post. genie

HansHB said...

A great post for WBW! Lovely to see!

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!

TexWisGirl said...

such beauties! thanks for sharing the up-close-and-personal views!

HansHB said...

Yes, 160.000! I was impressed!

mick said...

A great series of photos - again. The Goldfinch is especially beautiful.

LeenaH said...

Wonderful photos - especially that Goldfinch - so beautiful. I have managed sometimes to photograph them from the backyard but not close up photo :)

Adam Tilt said...

Really enjoying your close-ups that ringing allows. Something I'd definitely love to get into at some point.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful birds... your closeup views would really help a novice birder in IDing. (If only a few of them lived near enough to me to see!)

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Amazing. Wonderful birds.
We found an owl yesterday, killed by a car. I'm so sad.
Cheers from Cottage Country!

Jen said...

I thought it was too early for breeding plumage, but I saw an egret this weekend looking mighty fancy.

Stewart M said...

Nice birds - I saw a small flock of goldfinch yesterday - and that is not an everyday occurrence here!

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

Stewart M - Melbourne

Madibirder said...

Hi Phil, I wish we could have some of the cooler weather you're having, it's scorching hot over here. btw great photos.

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