Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good Days

The opportunities and incentive for getting out ringing are exceptionally good at the moment with the spell of dry weather made better by the thought of intercepting very migratory species like pipits and finches. We’ve had pretty good catches in recent days and weeks, species and numbers, but that doesn’t stop us doing it all over again, even more of the action, like Will and I did this morning at Out Rawcliffe.

It was a very similar morning to Saturday, in fact almost identical, with overnight frost and a clear, fairly calm morning with just a hint of an early breeze. Our catch was less than yesterday, but we packed up a little earlier when the drafts of wind turned more blustery towards 11am.

However we did capture another 56 new birds, with no retraps from yesterday, or from the previous weeks, months or years, as in: 39 Chaffinch, 12 Meadow Pipit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll and 3 Reed Bunting. So our glut of Chaffinch from further north continues, with the sexes split 23 to 16 and once more in favour of females. Again today we thought the numbers caught were just a small proportion of birds involved in active migration, those moving unseen through the large plantation or others flying overhead, audible but often unseen by virtue of their height in the bright sky. We estimated 260 Chaffinch today, mostly north to south.

The passage of Meadow Pipits was less marked today, and after an initial flurry of 40 or so birds arriving from the south east soon after dawn when we caught seven birds together, their passage thinned, and we picked up only a further five birds throughout the rest of the morning. In all we totalled about 200 Meadow Pipits, mainly heading south west. The first two pictures show an adult Meadow Pipit from today, with what is an example of adult autumn plumage.

Meadow Pipit - Adult

Adult Meadow Pipit

Lesser Redpoll

Reed Bunting

Other birds seen this morning: 1 Tawny Owl, 2+ Grey Partridge, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Kestrel, 2 Jay, 40 Skylark, 3 Buzzard, 6 Reed Bunting, 1500+ Pink-footed Goose and less than 10 Swallows.

Pink-footed Goose

It looks like most of the Swallows have gone for this year so I changed the header photo to something more akin to the autumn and this year’s in particular, with a species that may just appear in larger numbers soon.

4 comments:

Unravel said...

Very beautiful ending picture Phil!
I really love the tone of the blue sky, and the geese are all flying in a beautiful line as well.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All of your images are stunners and the new banner is absolutely a wonder, such a close glimpse of such a beauty, very, very nice. I love the little touch of cranberry on the face of the Reed Bunting. Sounds like your days are going well for you~

Paco Sales said...

Otro trabajo excelente amigo, consigues una nitidez y colores preciosos, un abrazo amigo

Stu said...

Love the shot of the geese against the blue sky Phil.........

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