Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not much "vis"

What a quiet morning. I was out reasonably early full of hope and expectation of seeing visible migration, surely some mipits either “tseeping” overhead or grounded at dawn? But no, I must have walked 100 yards at Fluke before I heard and saw anything apart from overflying gulls and the Lapwings that merge into the edge of the shore and green marsh. It was a couple of Snipe that broke my duck as they flew from the marsh amongst the Lapwings then off inland. I didn’t find any passerines for a while until I went down towards Ridge Farm where the usual Dunnocks hung out with a couple of Tree Sparrows.

I consoled myself with the thought that recording nothing or little at all is in fact a positive result. Work that out! Just then a single Pied Wagtail vissed over and I counted it.

On a partly harvested potato field I found 4 Stock Dove feeding quietly together with an Oystercatcher and two Curlew before I retraced my steps along the lane towards Fluke Hall Lane. A good number of Swallows, about 70, fed over the barley yet to be harvested and a few Linnets and Goldfinch flitted about the margins. I heard then saw a male Reed Bunting in the roadside hedge but I was pretty sure it wasn’t a migrant, Reed Buntings have been along this stretch of road all year, as have Linnets where I saw a pair nest building in May.

Just then I spotted a Barn Owl perched upright on a post nearby, just as it saw me and fled out of sight. It was now 0945, pretty late in the morning for a Barn Owl so I suppose they still have dependent young nearby.

Not one to “flog a dead horse” I decided to cut my losses and do a bit of leisurely ringing at home.

First to bounce out of the net was a Great-spotted Woodpecker but I caught a handful of common birds as well as watch a Sparrowhawk fly out from behind my Holly tree from where it was watching both my own and next door’s feeding stations. Such opportunists.

The pictures show a smart adult male Great Tit, a juvenile Blue Tit and a juvenile Wren.

Later I called at Hambleton to check my last Swallow nest to find one young alive, primary feathers still “in pin” and one dead one. Not totally surprising given the cold and rain of the last week but I am fearful that the single survivor may not make it given the lack of development over a week. Swallows that stay this late in leaving not much time to succeed are adopting a very risky strategy both for themselves and for the late young.

I duly entered the nest record detail on IPMR and tidied up the data on “outstanding nests”. It just remains to create a data file for BTO for all nests and I guess that is it for another year unless anyone out there knows of unfinished nests.

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