Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where There’s A Will

When I looked out of the window this morning I thought I had made the wrong decision in deciding the morning ringing was off. There were rain drops still on my car suggesting a recent shower, the ground looked decidedly damp but it wasn’t raining anymore, the sky was quite bright and the wind was zero.

I went to the moss anyway to check out a few nests and generally weigh up the situation for a ringing session for the revised day of Tuesday. As I walked through the plantation in the shin high grass to my ever dampening trousers I realised I'd made the right decision. There’s nothing worse than an early morning ringing session traipsing through wet vegetation and the inevitable outcome that as soon as it’s time to pack up, the grass is just drying out but your wet feet and trousers aren’t.

The Whitethroats were busy feeding young this morning. The ones we ringed in the week were obviously still in the nest as the adults scolded me when I went close. A bit further away, a brood we just missed in the week when they were fledglings hiding away from us, no longer crouched motionless in the deep grass, but now called for food from the parents nearby, although from their size they were probably well able to fend for themselves.


Whitethroats leave the nest very early, sometimes in as little as nine or ten days, and up along the track I found a very recently fledged short winged, short tailed youngster moving between a ditch and the adjacent peaty field, where it looked totally out of place on the dark soil rather than the thick vegetation where it should have stayed.


In the plantation a Willow Warbler nest had tiny young, hatched in the last day only, so they will be ready for ringing next weekend.

A party of 7 Mistle Thrush on the peaty field made their way through the plantation where the nets would have been, but it’s no good complaining after the event. In any case I really wasn’t too concerned about missing the ringing when a party of 22 Long-tailed Tits passed me heading for the net rides! A ringer’s worst nightmare in the making.

As the breeding season progresses I have seen a good number of Goldfinch around lately, and this continued today with parties of fours and fives on the farm plus a few more Linnets, but nowhere near the numbers of the Goldfinch. On the fields and hedgerows I counted 35 Lapwings, 4 Corn Bunting, 6 Reed Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer, 3 Buzzards and 8/10 pairs of Whitethroat.

On the way home I checked out some Kestrels in a natural tree cavity, where from the adult’s behaviour they have small young. Looks like a ladder job in a week or two.


Back home the clouds rolled in, so with chores to do we decided to stay put for the afternoon and watch the finches that included lots of youngsters from our own and everyone else’s garden head for the feeders. I also put a net up and caught 7 Goldfinches and a House Sparrow before the rain came again.








House Sparrow

So it wasn’t a bad day after all. You see, where there’s a will there’s usually a way.


mick said...

It's a lovely time of year with all the nesting and then young ones about. You have an interesting lot of birds in your own yard and great photos of all.

Paco Sales said...

Preciosas secuencias la que nos presentas amigo, que tierna la imagen de los jilgueros alimentandose, me encantan estas fotos, un abrazo amigo

Unravel said...

The young goldfinch looks very different!
The whitethroat as well looks a bit odd with that shortish tail.

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