Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Hundred Plus

Before this morning the last time Will and I managed a ringing session on Rawcliffe Moss was 4th September, the in-between time spent waiting for Irene and Katia to clear our shores. Today dawned cold but fine and bright and without the nagging, sometimes vicious wind of the previous ten days, so we hoped for lots of migrant birds previously held up by the bad weather.

The cold air gave us a fairly slow start which gathered momentum so quickly and successfully that by the end of the 6 hour session we had exceeded the magic one hundred by amassing a total of 122 birds of 12 species, 113 new and 9 recaptures, with the highpoint of the morning being the large number of two species in particular on the move south, Meadow Pipit and Chaffinch. New birds: 52 Meadow Pipit, 45 Chaffinch, 7 Goldfinch, and singles of Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Jay, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Coal Tit.

Our recaptures were 8 recently ringed Goldfinch, all returnees to the Niger feeders, and a Chiffchaff which has hung around the site whilst completing its adult moult.

Meadow Pipit - juvenile

Meadow Pipit- adult

Garden Warbler


Whilst we caught both Chaffinches and Meadow Pipits steadily, the peak of catching Chaffinches proved to be between 9am and 10am. There was a noticeable spike in Meadow Pipits numbers between 10am and 11am, in both visual migration and in the numbers we caught which might suggest that the Meadow Pipits had travelled a greater distance or from a wider area than the Chaffinches. Here on the moss we find migrating Meadow Pipits to be more detectable than Chaffinches, and taking this into account the estimate of both species on the move south here this morning is approximately 400 Meadow Pipit and 500 Chaffinch. We noted other finches on the move this morning, mainly 40+ Siskin and 4 + Lesser Redpoll, with small numbers of locally feeding Linnet c30 and Goldfinch c100.

In their different ways a Jay, a Great-spotted Woodpecker or a Sparrowhawk are all capable of drawing a ringer’s blood.

Great-spotted Woodpecker

Great-spotted Woodpecker

Sparrowhawk – juvenile male

Sparrowhawk – juvenile male


Processing 120 plus birds limited our pure birding somewhat, but we also noted 6+ Reed Bunting, 1 Tree Pipit, 3 Snipe, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Jay, 2 Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzard and the return of 15 Pink-footed Goose.


Paco Sales said...

Un joven jilguero el que capturastes, en un día frio, espero que el tiempo siga acompañandote para que sigas mostrándonos buenas fotos. Un abrazo Phil

Peter Fearon said...

Excellent! Pure class.

As I sat in my lab at break today, I was looking out towards Liverpool wondering....What if I was on Rimrose today...

Well done Phil!

Seasons said...

First, congratulations on the shere number of 100+. The Meadow Pipit grow to have beautiful feathers. The Garden Warbler is so cute. I like how you hold the birds while banding them. It sure takes practice. These birds look delicate and some have bills and talons that could hurt. Thanks Phil and Will, for sharing your findings with us.

Christian said...

Such beautiful birds to have in your hand. It must be a real thrill to see these stunners so close. That Jay is simply wonderful - one of my favourites.

Kay L. Davies said...

That woodpecker looks like it's seriously annoyed with you, Phil.
Great photos. I always enjoy them.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Robyn Kadis said...

Wow, 122 in 6 hours, thats a lot even for two people to handle. Well done, a great catch. I love the Jays. We don't get them here in South Africa. They have a really particular look about them... Glad you all made it through the hurricanes.

Russell said...

What a nice collection. The sparrowhawk's face is so cool and to me the Jay looks like a Kookaburra. Blue on the wing and all. No chance of cold wind here in Niigata. Still hot and waiting for the coming bird season.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I am happy for you that those two wind bags "Irene and Katia" have left town and you are back in business again..hope they didn't blow some of the important
ringers on a early migration before you had a go at them..
I loved that Garden Warbler cute!!
The bugged eyeballs on the unside down sparrowhawk lol!!
Hey have you noticed if you click to enlarge on a photo on most blogs now that there is a row of thumbnails on the bottom of all the pictures on the blogs? what's with that ..can't the leave anything alone!!
...yes i was ticked at the weatherman ...I had finally decided to move that dirt pile I have been going to do all summer darn it !! ; }

Nice to see your Hummingbird is back on your header..hahahaha!!

Have a good one old friend ..yes I meant you as in old..


euthymic said...

Interesting that some of these tiny and lovely birds can still manage to draw blood from a ringer:) Great post.

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