Saturday, November 6, 2010

Everyone A Winner

Will and I made the right decision last night by ignoring the BBC forecast of 10mph northerlies that might call off our planned ringing session at Rawcliffe Moss; with autumn leaves dropping fast from the trees it doesn’t take much of a wind to lessen the effectiveness of mist nets by making them visible when a breeze moves the netting around. There was no rain on the cards and our gamble paid off in full when just as we thought the isobars opened out overnight and left us with zero wind at 0615 right through until we left at 1130.

Last week we discussed how many more autumn ringing session we might get before the migration tailed off as winter set in and numbers of birds dwindled, the species became less diverse and the unexpected turned more predictable. Our decision was to keep working the site for as long as possible in catching migrant thrushes, finches and buntings before turning our attention to true winter sites in a week or two. In fact today’s session proved at least as good as any this autumn when we caught a terrific selection of 44 new birds of 10 species whilst at the same time seeing a decent amount of visible migration. Birds caught; 11 Goldfinch, 9 Reed Bunting, 7 Lesser Redpoll, 6 Chaffinch, 4 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 2 Blackbird, and one each of Siskin, Goldcrest and Meadow Pipit. No recaptures today, another sign of autumn birds.

We caught the Redwings and Fieldfares at first light and within the first hour during which approximately 150 Fieldfares and 30 Redwing moved through from north to south. Other visible migration was dominated by finches, especially Siskin and Lesser Redpoll with double figure counts of both, 25+ Siskin and 30+ Redpoll. Once again Chaffinch numbers were hard to estimate due to the height of those overflying, but we estimted at least 100 birds, with just a single Brambling heard early on. Both Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting were evident this morning, with 30+ Reed Bunting and up to 50 Meadow Pipit.

Siskin - juvenile

Lesser Redpoll - adult female

Goldcrest - female

Blackbird - juvenile male



Other birds noted about the plantation and fields this morning, 45 local Goldfinch and 30 Skylark, with 3 Tree Sparrow and 1 Yellowhammer over, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Sparrowhawk hunting at dawn, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, and 30+ Snipe in or around the wet potato field.

It looks a winning forecast for Sunday too. Here’s hoping.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails