Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why Worry?

I can’t be bothered chasing about trying to see the first Wheatear or the first Chiffchaff while the weather remains so cold. The birds will come when they are ready, as soon as they sniff warm air up ahead, but there’s no sign of that happening today with another early morning frost. 

In the meantime there are still a few wintering birds about too, as I found out when I topped the feeding station up on the moss. Just 12 birds caught, of which seven were new, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling and 2 Reed Bunting. The other 5 were recaptures of 2 recently ringed Bramblings and 1 each of Goldfinch, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. So it looks like I need to make the effort for more ringing sessions until the finches depart north. 

A male Chaffinch this morning gave an enormous reading on the scales at 28.1 grams, a weight which later on may cause the database to “beep” as a potential input error. Upon checking the weight and examining the bird I found stored fat bulging from the chest cavity. It’s probably a bird going a fair old distance soon, just like the Bramblings heading off to Scandinavia or Russia. 

Below is the fat Chaffinch and then one of the morning’s Brambling, both birds second calendar years. 

Chaffinch

Brambling

Coal Tit

Goldfinch

A few Meadow Pipits overhead this morning, less than five and no other signs of spring arrivals, just wintering and resident birds: 5 Buzzards in the early sun, 6 Yellowhammer, 15 Chaffinch, 8 Brambling, 15+ Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrel, 12 Corn Bunting 

Today's post is linking to Australia and  Stewart's photo gallery.

Don’t forget, tomorrow on Another Bird Blog there's the chance to win the new Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, so don’t miss it. 

Don’t worry if you miss out on the book, I’ll point you in the right direction to order a copy.

14 comments:

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Yes, they will come when they are ready. Nice shots once again. I'm just smitten with that goldfinch!

Chris said...

Well it is the same over here, the same old wintering birdies, but apparently things are starting to move with the first sighting of golden plover and lots of geese and swans... Spring is not that far no compare to few weeks ago although it is still cold ;-)
Love your portrait hosts today and the fat chaffinch is a hint ;-)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

That sure is a filled out bird, all ready for some kind of travel soon. We are having really weird weather...60's Saturday, 20' drop in temperature within an hour Saturday PM and snow and sleet on Sunday, now back to a warmer day to day and expecting some kind of snow accumulation for the weekend. Come on Spring for us all~

Errol Newman said...

First Chiffchaff 'bagued' today, a mid-weight male heading your way, no doubt. Heaviest Chaffinch was a male at 25.4 gms 10 days ago; none since (all Siskins!)

TexWisGirl said...

each one so gorgeous!

Carletta said...

I just read this morning that my area last March was the warmest we had on record. As of this week with temps below normal this March will probably go down as our coldest ever. Weather is indeed strange this year.
Love this series of closeups! I especially like the Brambling. What a handsome bird!

HansHB said...

Great photos, interesting to study the details!

Findlay Wilde said...

That is a heavy Chaffinch. Hope he has a safe journey. From Findlay

mick said...

Very interesting photo of the little fat Caffinch. I watch our migratory waders put on lots of weight before migration but hadn't thought of the little birds doing the same.

Karen said...

Lovely shots, these birds are very pretty.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, they are beautiful birds. And I always enjoy your photos. The Spring birds are on their way now. Happy Birding!

Stewart M said...

Whats the world coming too when even the chaffinches are obese!

Nice post.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

Stewart M - Melbourne

Gary said...

Really nice colouring in those birds!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Neil said...

Great post.

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