Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seems Like Work

Today I revisited a few Tree Sparrow nest boxes on Rawcliffe Moss where I knew there was a bit of follow up required, 5 nestlings to ring, a single bird in one box and four in another. Nestlings are like most other babies, they look better when they get a bit older.

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Carrying the ladder and not looking properly I cursed as I fell a couple of times through the tangled undergrowth of the wood before getting back to the car. My plans were to visit another farm once I had taken a look around the ringing area and other parts of the farm. Will scuppered my plans by turning up with the agricultural equipment, the strimmer and branch lopper, keen to improve our mist net rides. I am not one to discourage keen volunteers so I left Will to it while I looked through the plantation for nesting birds.

I counted 5 singing Willow Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 5 Whitethroats, all similar to our recent counts, but this time only 1 Reed Bunting, with a couple each of singing Chaffinch and Goldfinch. The Willow Warblers and Whitethroats aren’t eager to give away their nests just yet, and certainly the Sedge Warblers, which I find very hard to locate. However I did find one female Whitethroat sat on 5 eggs, probably by now the complete clutch, while close by the male churred a warning and watched me.

Whitethroat Nest

Male Whitethroat

Will completed a cracking job and got a better result with the net ride clearing than I did with nest finding.

Before

After

Even for me but certainly for Will it was very much like work a job of work rather than birding, but the top of the moss seemed fairly quiet with a new Corn Bunting singing, the patrolling Kestrel, two Mistle Thrush, one of which carried food towards the birch wood, and a lone Wheatear in the usual untidy spot that every good farm has.

Wheatear

Kestrel

Corn Bunting

3 comments:

CherylK said...

Wow! What a day you had and the photos are awesome. I love that little baby tree sparrow in the first photo.

Stu said...

Shame you don't get paid for it!

Unravel said...

Wow That's quite a hard work, I would say.
Nice to see the Whitethroat's nest. Lots of birds are also nesting around here.

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