Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Mixed Bag

Will and I met at Out Rawcliffe for the final ringing effort of September after the 18 hours of rain on Wednesday eventually petered out to leave us with a fine, wind free start. We got the nets up pretty quick then headed back to base camp for a coffee in the half-light, in time to see an early riser Marsh Harrier drift over the distant stubble fields, harried as ever by Carrion Crows. Not a bad start to the day, but the harrier continued south from its roost and we didn’t see it at all later.

Carrion Crow and Marsh Harrier

Initially our catching was slow, but improved as the sun came out. We caught 55 birds of 12 species, a good selection of 54 new birds, mainly finches but with the one recapture a Dunnock.

New birds: 26 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch,1 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Reed Bunting, 5 Meadow Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Coal Tit and 1 Willow Warbler. It’s getting fairly late now for Willow Warblers but if there’s going to be one or two “phylloscs” about they are often with a gang of “lottis”.

Overhead movement of both Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit was less pronounced this morning, with probably less than 100 pipits and possibly 200 Chaffinch, but both species were dropping in from a good height again, just as on recent clear mornings. Other obvious “vis” came in the shape of at least 10 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 alba wagtail and 8 Snipe, but our net rounds were busy, which restricted the pure birding intervals.

Song Thrush

Song Thrush - juvenile tail

Song Thrush - juvenile wing


Willow Warbler

Other birds seen this morning: 7 Reed Bunting were extra to the ones caught, 5 Swallow, 2 Grey Partridge, 55 Skylark, 3 Jay, 4 Tree Sparrow, 18 Goldfinch, 8 Linnet, 1 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, 1 Peregrine and 2 Raven.

On my way off the farm I stopped to grab a photo of one of the Buzzards enjoying the warming air.



Errol said...

Phil, you ring hundreds of Chaffinches compared to us (down in middle, unwooded, England) but where do they go. You must have some returns?

Phil said...

Hi Errol. Yes returns off 15,000 birds - Denmark 2, Sweden 2, Belgium, Scotland,Ireland 2, Nothumbria and The Pennines, Essex, Devon, Derbyshire, Lake District etc, oh and Bardsey.

Gallicissa said...

Great close ups. I remember the Greenfinch from my trip in 2003. Chaffinch was my favourite of the birds seen in England! Those returns must be quite satisfactory for you as a ringer.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Such fun you must enjoy working with so many birds. Your opening image with the crows and the Marsh Harrier captured is splendid, the muted colours give it a lovely statement. Have a great weekend. We are in Colorado having spent last week mainly in the Dakotas~

Luuuuuua said...

f frumoase fotografii,bravo

Errol said...

What? 15K! Can only manage 10% of that in 30 years between me and my cronies. To cap it all, our best return is 26km E! I can see that we'll have to point the caravan N and join you. ATB.

Unravel said...

Nice opening picture Phil. I like this feeling of a cold early morning. Song Thrush is another nice bird which I still haven't got a chance to see one.

Stu said...

Sometimes I forget how beautiful Chaffinches can be.........

Just booked my flight home for this Xmas, looking forward to photographing some of the common species in the UK........

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