Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Onward Thrushes

The window of weather in the Fylde today fitted in nicely with the restart of the thrush migration on Tuesday over parts of the Pennines and the east coast. So whilst we didn’t catch enormous numbers it was a fascinating, intense, productive and rewarding five hours of activity. At Rawcliffe Moss it started as a perfect morning for birding and ringing with a light southerly, good visibility, no rain and nets put up in the dark to await the expected thrushes.

The initial thrush arrival was from both South West and North West with the main element being Redwings. As the morning progressed, particularly from 10am onwards this changed to a main ingredient of Fieldfares coming from a North East direction, obviously reflecting the large arrival of Fieldfares in the east of England yesterday. Our count today was ultimately dominated by Fieldfare rather than Redwing, as largish flocks of 50+ Fieldfares arrived then left to the South West very quickly with apparent urgency. Therefore, our total thrush counts from 0700 to 1130, Redwing 260+, Fieldfare 1050+, with a couple of Song Thrush but no high flying Blackbirds and none caught today, even retraps.

Redwing 8 ringed, Fieldfare 4 ringed, Song Thrush 2 ringed, most of them soon after dawn. The Redwing pic is for Fernando - Good Luck, catch one for me.

Another Reed Bunting morning with 13 new ones caught and 1 retrap from the summer but not from the previous week or two of passage. As usual young males were the predominant constituent of the catch, some of them quite stunning individuals. It is difficult to say how many arrived unseen but if we caught 14, perhaps we should at least treble or quadruple that count.

Other birds ringed today:
Wren, 1
Great Tit, 1
Blue Tit, 1
Robin, 2
Goldfinch, 2 ringed with 19 overflying
Chaffinch 5 new ringed including a nice blackish adult male with a wing of 93. 40+ going south during the morning, but in very small groups, even singly.

Snipe, 5 over
Albas, 2 over
Linnet, flock of 18 about
Meadow Pipit, 22 over
Woodpigeon, 600+ over in various directions according to where the shooters were.
Corn Bunting, 2 with one singing heartily as the sun came out.
Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2
Teal, 8 over
Skylark, 190 on stubble fields

Birds of prey seen today; Kestrel 2, one Sparrowhawk, a Merlin fast and low over the stubble and a single Peregrine hunting slowly whilst going west towards Pilling Moss.

As ever there were lots of Pink-footed Goose coming in from the Pilling direction with 8 Greylag flying east.

At Knott End later in the day, 25+ Twite and a single Little Egret, all put to flight by the plonker that walks his pet cat on the marsh.

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