Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Hectic Morning

Will and I met up at Rawcliffe Moss at 6am for another of our regular warbler sessions. It didn’t take too long to realise that the overnight patchy rain had not only interrupted some migration but left plenty of birds in the immediate location. We started catching even as we finalised the half erected nets, and then didn’t have much of a break until we packed up at 11am. In fact we were so busy there is something a shortage of images from the session and we may have missed some of the visible migration, although most of the movement seemed to be taking place in front of our eyes in the mist nets.

Features of the morning were yet more Whitethroats and Willow Warblers plus the continuation of the Chaffinch migration first noted on Thursday. In all we caught 52 birds, 51 new and a single recapture. New birds: 18 Whitethroat, 12 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 2 Reed Warbler, 9 Chaffinch, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Dunnock, 1 Great Tit and 1 Blackbird. The single recapture was a Dunnock from recent weeks.

Eighteen Whitethroats is a good score for such a tiny spot on a map, but this takes our tally of Whitethroats here to 132 for the year. Of the 18 today there was but a single immaculate adult with just completed moult. Note the strong eye colour.

Whitethroat adult

Today's far from unlucky 13 Willow Warblers took our year on the moss to 114 individuals.

Willow Warbler - juvenile

The Blackcap below is a juvenile male, the cap just abrading from the juvenile brown to the winter black.

Blackcap- juvenile male

The single Sedge Warbler caught displayed very prominent fault bars across its tail, an obvious juvenile feature.

Sedge Warbler - juvenile

With many ringing sessions there is an element of just ringed birds finding a net again soon after release, either almost immediately, within a few minutes, or up to an hour or two later. This morning it became noticeable how this simply didn’t happen when almost all of the newly ringed birds didn’t reappear, but very quickly continued their onward migration. We can often see this happen due to the site’s open geographical location that gives clear views to most compass points.

Our busy ringing meant less time devoted to birding but we noted c150 Swallows heading south, 1 Tree Pipit over, c40 Chaffinch heading south and several Greenfinch and Linnet. The Goldfinch roost here is still active with c120 birds leaving the roost at the relatively late time we arrived. The departing Goldfinches attracted in a marauding Sparrowhawk, with a second high flying Sparrowhawk seemingly headed south round about 9am.

Otherwise, 4 Buzzard, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Alba wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Tawny Owl tucked in close to the tree trunk today.

Tawny Owl


Snap said...

A hectic morning for sure! Wonderful shots of your feathered friends. Happy Critter Day!

Twiggy said...

Lovely! I seldom see the birds so up close, so thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What cute birds and a great pic of the owl.

Paco Sales said...

Valió la pena el madrugar a las 6 de la mañana, conseguisteis unas bellas capturas amigo Phil, genial tu trabajo. Recibe un abrazo

fjällripan said...

Beautiful birds, especially the owl! :)

Nikki-ann said...

I do love your photos, seeing the birds up close is a treat.

You may be able to help with identifying the bird on my blog.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...yes I am still feeling crappy ....
I am feeling good about your ringing for the day....
The eye on that bird was striking, I noticed it before I read that you said that "honest" . I do read not just look at the pretty birdies!! ( No tests though please)

I love your Owls!!!

Your crappy friend;

Jidhu Jose said...

lovely birds

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The adult Whitethroat so lovely and the sun on the eys, shows such an appealing face. Having a hard few days here, yet I know that things shall improve. Have a very nice day tomorrow~

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