Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bunting Bonanza

Will couldn’t make it to Rawcliffe Moss with me this morning; that ugly four letter word “work” put paid to his morning of ringing. So I went on my own and put up a couple of nets that targeted thrushes, Reed Bunting and Chaffinch.

It was a clear, another cloudless, frosty start again, and as I worked quietly in the dark erecting the nets several Redwings and Song Thrushes were leaving thick cover they roosted in overnight. This departure seemed to stimulate several Snipe to leave the adjacent soggy potato field where they roost, and I could hear their rasping calls flying off into the dark.

Migration slowed up during the week and I must admit I wasn’t too optimistic about catching thrushes, but as we ringers say, “You don’t know until you try”. It took until 0740 before the first Redwing came from the north, a party of about 40 dropping from the sky with a couple of Fieldfares, an arrival that led to my first catch. Ten or so minutes later another few small parties, but it soon dried up with just ones and twos throughout the rest of the morning until I had recorded about 80 Redwings and 11 Fieldfares from 0730 to 11am.

As in recent weeks it was Reed Buntings that proved to be the consistent element of the ringing and the visible migration. For the reason that they don’t move in huge parties, or maybe because they are not as conspicuous as some other species, it is possible to overlook or even disregard the almost constant calls of Reed Buntings passing nearby, overhead or landing in the plantation.

Anyway I caught another 15 new ones this morning to add to the 35 caught in the last three weeks or so which rounded the total up to 50 individuals. 14 of today’s Reed Buntings were birds of the year, juveniles, with just 1 adult male to break the spell. But if I caught 15 without too much effort, how many Reed Buntings were on the move on this and every morning of recent weeks?

So, birds caught totalled 26 new; 15 Reed Bunting, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare and 1 Blue Tit.



Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting


Blue Tit

In between the ringing, other visible migration and even the birding was on the thin side: 1 Sparrowhawk early doors, 18 Tree Sparrow over, 3 Siskin over, 6 redpoll sp over, 3 alba Wagtail.

On the way down the track I stopped to take a picture or two of another Pied Wagtail. Well it makes a change from birds in the hand.

Pied Wagtail


Nikki-ann said...

Wonderful photos. The birds look so calm too.

Anonymous said...

Wow - fabulous close-ups!

cat said...

Such lovely close ups of the pretty birds :)

Just Me said...

Those close ups are excellent! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos.
Melody ~ Blondie's Abode

Cecilia Artista said...

Wonderful pictures of the birds!

Bob Bushell said...

Great the Fieldfare and the Redwing, those pictures was a winner.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Sweet face on the Blue Tit and your work and summaries are always fascinating. I have no concept as to how you even begin to do what you do, yet it seems all so challenging and also very worth your hard work.

Unravel said...

The Fieldfare looks really nice. I still haven't seen any migrant thrush here in southern Japan. They should be arriving very soon.

Stu said...

Interesting stuff Phil, the migration season is well underway here too..........

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous bird photos!

Paco Sales said...

Unos primeros planos bellisimos, una nitidez perfecta y unos desenfoques muy buenos, un saludo Phil

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