Friday, February 19, 2010

Siskins, Sun and Sarnies

That was the order of appearance this morning when we returned to Will’s for a ringing session.

The roads were a little dicey this morning with poor visibility and freezing fog of -3C. Ian was a minute behind witnessing a tanker crashing through a dry stone wall on the A6 at Catterall. But we all arrived safe and sound at Will’s, if a little cold but to a welcoming cup of coffee.

The Siskins were there in numbers in the tree tops, we could hear them in the half light and mist, twittering away and waiting for a breakfast of energy giving nyger. Our first round of just the two nets caught 21 Siskins and 2 Goldfinch, tremendous!



The sun eventually cleared a path through the mist as the Siskin kept arriving; At times they made a tremendous din moving about the garden or simply calling from the single pine and the several alders.

Sunny Morning

By 1145 we had caught 61 birds:

Siskin 34, which included 2 retraps from previous occasions.
Chaffinch 8
Goldfinch 10
Dunnock 1
Robin 1
Great Tit 3
Coal Tit 1
Blackbird 2

And, wait for it you ringers out there, 1 Blue Tit, a retrap! On a frosty February morning there is a Fairy Godmother after all.

There’s always a question about what percentage of birds present or passing through a locality are actually caught at a ringing session. On this occasion, and after a little discussion, we agreed that to double our actual catch would be a conservative estimate of the Siskin seen and heard, so we assumed that upwards of 70 Siskin must have been around the area of the neighbourhood this morning. A few of the Siskin showed evidence of peanuts around their bills (photograph) but our ones this morning stuck to the nyger feeders throughout. Some of Will’s neighbours do feed peanuts only.

The birds kept us fairly busy but naturally we found time to fit in our own energy giving breakfast of bacon sarnie liberally basted with HP of the brown variety.



Coal Tit

Blue Tit

Other birds we saw this morning; Wood Pigeon 14, Collared Dove 4, Pied Wagtail, Nuthatch 2, Treecreeper 2, Kestrel. Jackdaw 20, House Sparrow 10.

Pied Wagtail


Forest the Bear said...

Wow..thats allot of Siskin Phil, I have only seen them in ones or twos and well done on the Blue tit retrap.

Nice to see the bacon was treated with HP respect!!

Sharon said...

Lovely photos Phil - love the Siskins, we've currently got a pair of them visiting our nut feeder, I discovered them yesterday! Lovely little birds.

S.C.E. said...

Nice shots of the Siskins, I haven't seen a single one this winter.

Minus 3! That's t-shirt weather over here.

Phil said...

I love the siskins too folks. Of course those temperatures are only relative but it feels cold to us over here.

Calvin said...

Love when the siskins return to the garden here in West Cork... hopefully it will be happening any time now. Fabulous little birds.

Calvin said...

Love siskins. With a bit of luck they'll be arriving in the garden here in West Cork any day now to boost my Birdwatch Ireland garden bird survey tally.

Related Posts with Thumbnails