There was more ringing on the menu at Oakenclough on Tuesday morning. I met Andy and Bryan at 0645. A steady 10-12mph of a north easterly breeze didn’t bode too well for either ringing or watching visible migration but perseverance is the name of the game. We set up shop and waited for some action.
Just as we thought, the pace of the ringing and birding was slow but nonetheless we caught another good mix 29 birds of 11 species including the first Redwing of the autumn, a fine looking adult.
Totals: 7 Goldcrest, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Coal Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Great Tit and singles of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Greenfinch
The single Redwing was one of a flock of 30+ Redwings which arrived on site from the north about 0900. Apart from this single flock the only other Redwings we saw were in ones and twos scattered throughout the morning. The single Blackbird was a first year male of the “continental” type while the only Song Thrush caught was a quite small juvenile. As in our recent two ringing sessions here migrant Mistle Thrushes arrived from the north to feed briefly in the rowans but we saw less than ten of the large thrushes today.
Our three Lesser Redpolls consisted of 2 first autumn birds which could not be accurately sexed but these brown birds eclipsed by a stunning adult male. The redpolls appeared in a net without warning while very low numbers of less than 10 were recorded by both sight and sound. It was a similar situation with Siskins whereby one or two flew over throughout the morning but a zero catch.
Lesser Redpoll - adult male
Lesser Redpoll - adult male
Lesser Redpoll - first year
In contrast to our recent visits here there seemed to be no visible migration of Chaffinches on Tuesday with just four new birds.
So no Siskins on the field sheet but the BTO sent details of Siskin Ring Number L976732 that Andy caught here on 29th September 2015 while I was away in Skiathos.
Siskin - adult male
The Siskin was first ringed by members of Clyde Ringing Group at Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, East of Glasgow, Scotland on 8th September 2012. On both occasions the Siskin was aged and sexed as an adult male meaning that by September 2015 the Siskin had a minimum age of 4 years.
The elapsed period between ringing and recapture was 1116 days and the distance between Oakenclough and Bellshill 226 km.
It is almost certain that like so many others of its kind this Siskin leaves Scotland each autumn to winter further south in England, perhaps to the south coast or even further by crossing the English Channel to France or Belgium.
Siskin - Bellshill to Oakenclogh
The highlight of the morning’s birdwatching came about 11am when the warming sun brought 4 Buzzards and accompanying crows into the air. When a ringtail Hen Harrier appeared in the same group of birds it appeared that the Buzzards were chasing the harrier away. We had clear sight of the Hen Harrier for less than a minute before it disappeared out of sight below the tree line while the Buzzards remained.
Other birding provided 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Grey Heron, 2+ Jays, 30+ Long-tailed Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 3 Pied Wagtail and 1 Nuthatch.
Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blog.