Sunday, December 13, 2009

In The Red

The thermometer definitely read minus this morning but the Tree Sparrows and Chaffinch also owed us a ringing session after we fed them diligently for many weeks while the wind and rain held us at bay.

I was ten minutes late for the session, not like me, but ice on the road at Out Rawcliffe slowed me down, then a stop to admire a Tawny Owl put a couple more minutes on the journey. Not to worry, what are trainees for if not to carry poles and put up nets on frosty mornings? Picture courtesy of

You just have to hand it to those Tree Sparrows, 200 to 300 coming to the food for several weeks and how many did we catch? Eleven! They were there of course the multitude, flying up and down the hedgerow, across the field, back and forth, in and out, just generally taking the Michael out of the ringers, but it wouldn’t be any fun if they made it too easy for us would it?

The Chaffinch proved a little easier to catch with 18 new ones, proving as we thought that the turnover of feeding birds has been higher than the regular count suggests.

Other birds caught included 2 Blackbirds, 1 Coal Tit and 3 Dunnock, the remainder of the catch several each of Blue Tit and Great Tit with a single troglodyte.

Birding was fairly quiet this morning, the highlight being possibly the circa 80 Fieldfare that hung about “our” hedgerow, one of the few remaining to have any number of berries to keep thrushes interested. 3 Yellowhammers put in a brief appearance away from the nets but those are usually caught into the New Year when natural food becomes scarce.

Raptors were represented by 2 Kestrels and the now obligatory Buzzard.

A couple of Roe Deer put in a distant appearance in the stubble field opposite our cars, the same field that held a couple of hundred noisy Jackdaws and about 15 Corn Buntings.

On the way home a daytime Little Owl provided a perfect end to a fruitful and enjoyable morning.


Tabib said...

You got whiplash for ten minutes late! (LOL)
Great pictures and love that Little Owl.

Phil said...

Thanks Tabib. Little Owls are pretty special.

yen said...

plenty of little owl where you are huh? It is amazing that Owls are abundance "even" during the day

Phil said...

Hi Yen,

Thanks for looking in again. Our Little Owls tend to be a bit more active in the day when it is very cold, especially with overnight frost. I guess when this happens they can not feed as well during the night. Best Regards, Phil

yen said...

Phil, here in the East, Owls are nocturnal and serious birders will go all out arming them self with big torch sweeping the jungle hoping to spot an Owl or two, even when they are spotted, you may not get a good photo because they are either too far (*hidden*) or they are startled by your presence and flew away...and that is faith of the Asia birders.

You can get lucky during the day if you are out in the woods very often ( you know what they sy, the harder you try the luckier you are) and should the Owl decided to roost at the place where they hunt the nite before, you are in luck.

not easy...never easy really.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I've never held a bird! Must be a wonderful experience.

Indian Myna [मैना]

Phil said...

Hi Bhavesh, British bird ringers are indeed privileged to be able to study birds at such close quarters. Thanks for looking at my blog. I have been to India 5 times, wonderful country, brilliant birds, nice gentle people.

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