Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Frosty Start, Good Catch

After a few false dawns the weather came good this morning. I’d taken the precaution of throwing a lump of old carpet across the windscreen for the predicted frost and just as well because at 0730 the gauge showed −1 °. The first frost of the winter had arrived. 

I met Andy up at Oakenclough where after first topping up the feeding station we set about catching a few birds in the by now bright sunshine. It proved a busy session with barely time to grab a mug of coffee as we processed 73 birds of 12 species. There were 61 new birds plus 12 recaptures from recent weeks. 

61 New birds:- the main object of the exercise the finch family named first: 31 Goldfinch, 7 Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Dunnock, 2 Blackbird, 2 Robin, 1 Blackcap. 

12 Recaptures, and the Coal Tits keep coming back for more: 8 Coal Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Goldfinch. 

Robin

The Blackcap was something of a surprise as autumn migrants have long gone to be replaced now by small numbers of wintering birds, possibly from the Continent. Not unexpectedly upon examination our bird proved to be a first-winter male. 

Blackcap

When we set this project up little did we expect to be catching good numbers of Goldfinch here in December and at more than 200 metres above sea level. It will be interesting to see how many Goldfinch remain into the usually colder part of the new year. 

Goldfinch

Greenfinch

The two male Blackbirds caught both showed characteristics of Continental birds, the scalloped breast and throat feathers plus an all dark bill. 

Blackbird

During the busy four hour ringing session we managed to see a few other birds - Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1+ Siskin.

There's more soon from Another Bird Blog.

13 comments:

Chris Rohrer said...

Beautiful birds. The Blackcap is an interesting bird. I have to do more study up on this one. You had a good catch. Also glad the weather worked out for you. It's doing the same here. Not sure if it's going to rain or not, but the clouds are rolling in from that big California rain event.....which means some good birds may fly my way:)

TexWisGirl said...

love seeing all your birds. the black cap is cute!

Errol Newman said...

I hand the Goldfinch baton over to you, Phil. Your 32 today beat my 5 (net catching the wind, not birds).
Out of interest, now caught 15 winter Blackcaps, mainly 1CY males like yours. TTFN

Linda said...

How exciting, Phil!!! What lovely birds! :)

David Gascoigne said...

Time for me to get caught up too! I am sure that the Blackcap was a surprise. If anyone had asked me I would have said they would all be gone by now. Pleasant surprise though, huh?

Christian Perrin said...

Sounds like a productive morning! I remember seeing Blackcaps in the summer around the bushier London suburbs. They were cute little birds that made a good impression!

Jen said...

Unexpected birds are turning up in Texas this winter, too. Your Goldfinches are so beautiful.

Margaret Adamson said...

you have a great catch today and these shots of some of them are lovely.

Ni de Aqui, Ni de Alla said...

I just started to visit you, and I'm very interested of how you get to hold birds in your hand. I also like all the variety of them that you post in here, many of them I never seen before. The goldfinch is so pretty! Thank you for your "anonymous" comment, now I know is you.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, you do catch some pretty birds there.. I love the Goldfinch and the pretty Greenfinch! Great photos, HAPPY BIRDING!

cindyzlogic said...

Many beautiful captures!

Mary Cromer said...

Having spent some time in local hospital Tuesday and Wednesday, finally getting to visit. I do hope that the little birds that did not leave, will fare well during the upcoming Winter months. I have seen many American Robins stay and we get a lot of snow and they still will not eat the seeds we place for them. Take good care~

Lou Mary said...

Lovely to see these 'more common' birds up close - really allows your readers to appreciate these creatures!! I know I do!

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