Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Better Late Than Never

At last, a break in the wind and rain allowed Andy and me to fit in a ringing session at Oakenclough on the edge of the Bowland Forest. With only a week to the shortest day our starts get later and 0815 today - three or four hours later than a typical start time during spring, summer or early autumn. 

A quiet session saw us catch just 14 birds in 3 hours, slow going by any standards - 6 Coal Tit, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Chaffinch. 

Coal Tit

Although the weather of November and December has been wet and windy, the temperatures have been unseasonably high whereby there seems ample natural food for birds and not much reason for them to visit our feeding station, as evidenced today by the lack of Great Tits, Blue Tits and Chaffinches. Any Lesser Redpolls in the area now are winterers rather than migrants, the two today an adult male and a second year female found in the net together. When released they flew off in tandem. 

Lesser Redpoll - adult male

Lesser Redpoll - adult male

Unlike today’s wintering Lesser Redpolls we received notification from the BTO of a same year spring to autumn recovery. Ring number Z312419, an adult male Lesser Redpoll was ringed here at Oakenclough on March 25th 2015. This bird was recaptured by other ringers on November 27th 2015 at Pelsall Common, West Midlands, and 247 days after the original capture. This is a typical spring to autumn capture sequence for this species but where the eventual destinations at each season are probably uncertain. 

Lesser Redpoll - Oakenclough to West Midlands

Other birds we saw in the immediate area this morning - 2 Buzzard, 5 Mistle Thrush, 18 Goldfinch, 30+ Chaffinch. 

On the way home via Nateby, Pilling and at a flooded field on Stalmine Moss, 72 Whooper Swans, a male Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard. 

Stalmine Moss

Whooper Swans

After a break in ringing during some six weeks it was good to finally achieve a hard won visit. Let’s hope that’s a good omen for the coming weeks.

Linking today to Anni's Birding and Eileen's Saturday and World Bird Wednesday.

23 comments:

Linda said...

Beautiful, Phil, and the Lesser Redpoll has captured my heart! :)

Les Fous du Cap said...

Great poste ;-)
Céline & Philippe

TexWisGirl said...

the redpolls are just beautiful!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I hope it's a good omen too! I can't marine how wonderful it must be to hold those birds in your palm, k owing how much good you are doing !

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, I am glad you achieved a good ringing session. The Redpoll is beautiful. Happy birding.

David Gascoigne said...

I saw Lesser Redpoll when I was in the UK but the taxonomists on this side of the Atlantic still don't recognize it as a separate species. In fact there is some talk that Arctic (Hoary) Redpoll may be relumped with Common Redpoll as a single species. I guess in an absolute sense it doesn't really matter. They are all a joy to see.

Jo said...

Each one so beautiful and all new birds to me. Thanks for sharing. Greetings, Jo

Neil said...

As always a interesting post.

Christian Weiß said...

Like the Redpoll too, great post.

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!

Stuart Price said...

Glad you see you haven't drowned yet Phil............

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Very interesting post.. cheers :-)))

Lew Newman said...

No sign of those pink birds down here yet; probably too warm and wet!
Seasons Greetings to you and yours.

Vandana Sharma said...

These are all new to me and are so amazing!

Chris Rohrer said...

Very slow indeed, but again, you have some quality birds here. My goal this month is to find the Common Redpolls back home. I'll be excited to observe them in person. As always, thank you for the up close look at these birds. It helps with the field marks! Gracias:)

Stewart M said...

Nice set of birds - hope you were not flooded - although I think most of the water was a bit further north.

We are waiting for a break in the weather too - it was 32 here at 8am!!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

jandi said...

beautiful birds! and I am very worried about the weather changes this year...

EG CameraGirl said...

Lovely to see the redpoll photos!

Errol Newman said...

419 went by car/taxi! Few Chaffinch, no Redpoll here but a spate of new Greenfinch the last 4 weeks.
Merry Christmas to everyone up there.

Rajesh said...

14 birds in 3 hours. That is great.

Anni said...

To see the distance the bird traveled after ringing it just boggles my mind!!! I always enjoy reading your experiences and data. What a concept.

Beautiful birds, naturally....but, oh would I ever LOVE to hold one in my hand as you do. What a wonderful day that would be.

Our weather has been a lot like yours, but now it's dropping in temps and the sun has come out, so maybe I can get out and do the annual Christmas Day Bird Count....depends on our guests for the holidays. I may be stuck at home, wishing I was BIRDING. lol

Thank you so much for adding your link to I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend for us to view your post!!! Wonderful.

Marie C said...

So interesting to see the results of the banding with the redpoll! Loved the whooper swans too.

Related Posts with Thumbnails