Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Jobs

After Saturday’s disappointment Will and I promised ourselves another bash today so met up again, usual time, and usual place. As we hit the moss road at 0615 a heavy shower threatened to wipe out our ringing session: the downpour didn’t last and we soon erected just three nets in the eastern most part of our plot, mindful of the promised scattered showers and 15mph westerly for 10am.

It didn’t rain more but the stiff breeze did curtail the session early at 1030. Despite this we caught a good mix of yet more warblers and several finches, during what proved an interesting and varied morning of birding and ringing.

Our overall catch was 27 birds of 8 species, 22 new and 5 recaptures. New birds: 5 Whitethroat, 5 Willow Warbler, 6 Goldfinch, 2 Great Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Blackcap and 1 Lesser Whitethroat – not only one of the smartest warblers, but the first of our year. Recaptures: 2 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Blackcap.

Lesser Whitethroat

The young Blackcap had almost dispensed with its brown cap and sported a not quite black hood.


Many of the young Goldfinches are now in stages of their post-juvenile moult, and with a little care it is possible to sex some of them, like the juvenile male below. Despite the lack of Goldfinch red on the face the new black nasal hairs show that this bird is a male - a female has greyer nasal hairs.


Birding wise there was perhaps a little evidence of finch movements, with several Greenfinch and Chaffinch, but also 4 singles of Lesser Redpoll, all chattering south. Local Linnet and Goldfinch numbered 15 and 35 respectively. We estimated Swallows this morning at 80+, but found no difficulty in counting the single Swift that headed north about mid-morning. Otherwise, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 60 Woodpigeon, 3 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Pied Wagtail and 4 Skylark.

Sunday On The Moss

About 9am we had brief views of a cream-headed female Marsh Harrier before it flew off in the westerly direction of Pilling Moss, disturbing dozens of gulls and Lapwings from its path. Not the bird we saw here a week ago, and definitely a different bird.

On the way home I called at Hambleton to ring the penultimate brood of 4 Swallows for the year, where youngsters ringed last week now looked on the verge of leaving their stable. The final brood should be ready for ringing on Thursday next.


I just looked outside at the lawn. With all the rain of the last week the grass really needs a cut. OK it’s Sunday afternoon when we should all take it easy, but if I go and get the job done now there are a few Brownie Points on offer for next week’s birding.


grammie g said...

Hey is ever going to stop raining???
I was real glad to read that the female Goldfinch has lesser nasal hair then the male ..that would just gross me out... hahaha !!Those two young Swallows is the most adorable shot ...they make a heart shape so cute!!

I see you had a few words to say about my garden seat ...if you could see the rest of it , it is not worth fixing ...that's my excuse...just dont' sit on it when you come for a visit!!
Thanks for swinging by!!

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful closeups of the birds, Phil! Your photo of the Moss is pretty, looks like a nice place for the birds. I love all the bird shots , especially the cute swallows.

mick said...

Beautiful birds and great photos - as usual!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

So by now, you must have completed your grass mowing;) yes? The Sunday on the moss image, I think that you titled it looks so much like the countryside here right now, just gorgeous. I have no words other than cute, lovely and all of that about those wonderful Swallows. Have a delightful week~

JWBateman said...

Hi Phil; Brownie points are what is needed I will be glad when I can be out & about again chest infection affecting me at the moment. Best wishes JWB.

Seasons said...

Can say with surety, I have never seen a picture of Swallows like that. Either you banded the two togehter, or they are just bonded in affection...the latter being more plausible. Right? Great pics. Well done, Will and Phil on keeping your determination.

La sonrisa de Hiperión said...

Bellos estos animales...

Saludos y un abrazo.

NatureFootstep said...

nice closeups of the birds. :)

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