Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Alone

It was another Rawcliffe Moss ringing session this morning. I went alone as Will is up in Scotland standing in a river, where allegedly he will catch a salmon or two but I thought I was on pretty safe ground to say that this week I will catch more birds than he will fish.

It nearly didn’t turn out that way because the morning was a quiet one. Firstly the Meadow Pipits of the last three or four weeks dried up more than a little and we could now be past their peak migration which usually takes place in the last two weeks of September before numbers tail off through October. Even the Chaffinch didn’t appear to be in very high numbers this morning although the fine, clear sky meant that most travelled over at great height, often audible but impossible to see against the bright blue sky. On “vis mig” I counted only 20 or so Meadow Pipits and 100+ Chaffinch, all birds north to south.

But I caught all the target species with 15 new birds, 2 Reed Bunting, 1 Meadow Pipit and 12 Chaffinch with zero recaptures once again.

Reed Bunting


The highpoint of vis this morning was alba Wagtails again with a minimum of 15 over, all heading south, plus 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Lesser Redpoll and 4 Tree Sparrow.

In the plantation all was fairly quiet save for the roving tit flock which thankfully kept clear of the nets, as did a couple of Jays. Another loud, fruity toned Chiffchaff was near my nets for a while but didn’t get caught today.

Other birds this morning, 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Grey Partridge, 50+ Skylark, 30 Goldfinch, 15 Linnet, 4 Reed Bunting and a Sparrowhawk.

There were a few animal highlights today in the shape of several Brown Hares, three Roe Deer and a Stoat which came for a peek at me as I sat in a quiet spot having a coffee.

Brown Hare

Roe Deer


I took a peek too - at the weather forecast for the week ahead. It looks like birding only for several days ahead. If Will catches 16 salmon I’m in trouble!


Paco Sales said...

La foto del conejo es preciosa, escondiendose y posando, otro excelente trabajo amigo Phil, un saludo

mick said...

It sounds like a very productive day for the birding and I am fascinated at the other creatures you saw when you sat still. Is it usual to see all those animals in the countryside around you or are you in a special area?

Phil said...

Hi Mick, Brown Hares are relatively common on farmland around here. Roe Deer are increasingly common and can be seen fairly easily if you know where to look at suitable times of day, dawn is best. The Stoat is much more elusive but is a common mammal that I see about once a month when I am out and about. Thanks for looking in again.

Jen said...

Ooh I'd never heard of a Stoat before... great photos!

Gallicissa said...

Nice to see my favourite British bird, the Chaffinch. Lovely non-birding distractions!

Lana Gramlich said...

The chaffinch is sooooooo lovely. Thanks for sharing. :)

Stu said...

LOL that Stoat shot is great.

Unravel said...

Both the Brown Hare and Stoat look great! I'd love to see those lovely animals. Weasels in Japan won't stand still enough for me to grab a shot like that!

NatureFootstep said...

seems like a great day. I bet you had more birds than your friends fish.

NF Birds BPW

Kelly said...

...the rich browns in the Reed Bunting are so beautiful. I love looking at those little birds. Also, I believe the Stoat is a new animal for me. What a cutie!

Halcyon said...

Fun! You caught more than birds on your camera. :)

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