Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Through The Little Window

It seems that up here in the North West we experienced the driest spring for 80 years, but now we have to pay for it with not only a hose pipe ban, but Atlantic depressions queuing up in the Irish Sea to beat us into submission before putting paid to any autumn ringing plans. So at the moment it’s a case of scrutinise the weather, hope for a little window of calm, ringer friendly weather then head for Rawcliffe Moss as Will and I did this morning for the promised 2mph start but a further assurance of 15mph gusts pretty soon after.

On my way to the ringing area at 0430 I paused at the open fronted barn to watch the Barn Owl disappear out of the equally open back door, but it doesn’t nest here, just roosts on the beam occasionally.

Barn Owl

Soon we caught 33 birds, 24 new and 9 recaptures before we packed up at 0915 when the south-easterly wind began to blow the nets too much. Our catch comprised the usual suspects today, finches and warblers mainly with a single Robin that broke the monotony of Goldfinches and Whitethroats.

New birds - 8 Whitethroats all juveniles as we would expect, 3 juvenile Sedge Warblers, 1 adult Willow Warbler, 11 Goldfinch and 1 Robin. The Goldfinches split six adults and five 3Js.

Recaptures were 1 Sedge Warbler and 2 Willow Warbler with 6 Whitethroats, 5 of which were males.

Robin

Sedge Warbler

Goldfinch

Goldfinch - “3J”

Birding was quiet again today with the exception of Goldfinches everywhere, some of which found the nets but many that didn’t. Linnets remained scarce on this patch of farmland, and we counted about a dozen only with an unexpected single overflying Lesser Redpoll and several Chaffinch.

There was a noticeable movement of Sand Martins once again with at least 14 flying purposefully south about 0830 but the Swallows and House Martins we saw could simply be local ones. This morning’s raptors comprised 2 Kestrel and 2 Buzzards.

Chaffinch

We left Philip the farmer busy spraying the potato crop but wondered how we might modify his machine to catch a field full of autumn and winter finches or Skylarks?

Ringing Equipment?

6 comments:

Halcyon said...

What lovely birds! I have never seen an owl in real life (except at a zoo or something), what a treat for you!

Unravel said...

Haha that's a really nice idea about the machine!
You'll be able to catch loads of birds with that one...wait to see more of your development.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Chaffinch, what a beauty this species is, never have heard of it, but love the colouration and the branch that you captured it on is just beautiful with the bird~

Anna said...

Excellent birding showcase. I am glad that I got myself partially involved. But I am not near days like that. Anna :)

madibirder said...

Very innovative, mechanised ringing.

Errol said...

Can't wait to see this mega drag net!! HeHe.

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