Thursday, October 13, 2011

We Finally Made It

At last, the wind and rain relented and Will and I met up at Out Rawcliffe and the first ringing session for 11 days since the last rain aborted session of October 2nd. The dark, cloudy filled morning gave us a fairly slow start, but quickly picked up to provide a very steady, varied and interesting morning of ringing and birding, the overhead birds being particularly diverse.

We continued where we left off in early October by targeting finches, buntings and Meadow Pipits, ending up with a catch of 48 birds of 6 species, 44 new and 4 recaptures. New birds: 13 Chaffinch, 12 Goldfinch, 11 Meadow Pipit, 6 Reed Bunting, 1 Robin and 1 Treecreeper. The 4 Goldfinch recaptures were from recent weeks.

It took almost 30 minutes after dawn before the Chaffinches and Meadow Pipits began heading south, parties of less than 10 for the pipits, with bigger groups of Chaffinch, sometimes 10-15 together. By the end of our 5 hour session we had counted 350+ Chaffinch, 250+ Meadow Pipit and 25+ Reed Buntings. It’s pretty impossible to count Goldfinch migration here as there is still a local roost of Goldfinch, a gathering that translates into a feeding flock of 130+ later in the morning. Other finches were less numerous with just 8 Siskin and 5 Lesser Redpoll over.


Meadow Pipit


Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

In the first hour or two after dawn there was a very strong movement of Alba wagtails heading south, at one point a party of 18 birds passing over, then later other smaller groups and individuals. Our 5 hours gave a total of 60+ Albas with at least 1 Grey Wagtail. Skylarks were also conspicuous with a minimum of 120 birds arriving from the west and north-west and then heading south-east. Our first Redwing of the season flew south early on, followed by a party of 5 Fieldfare much later in the morning but also going south. 3 Song Thrush were scattered throughout the five hours, with 3 late Swallows together about 11am.

A couple of unusual birds for out here on the moss came in the shapes of a party of 7 Crossbill heading north-east, and a single Common Sandpiper flying south.


Raptors today: 1 Kestrel, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, and 1 Peregrine briefly chasing a Lapwing. Others: 800+ Pink-footed Goose, 2 Raven, 45 Lapwing, 2 Jay, 11 Snipe.

Wow! What a great morning’s birding, shame we had to wait so long.


Chris said...

Crossbill heading North, they might come up over here ;-) beautiful post and nice pictures. I'm amazed by the numbers you caught!

Paco Sales said...

El pinzon es bellísimo, una magnífica fotografía. Me alegro que al fin el tiempo acompañara. Un abrazo Phil

Birdringal-andalus said...

Dear friend Phil. greetings, yesterday captured a Blackcap (Syl atr) in the UK. The ring was this:
NH Museum London SW7 Y348294
Do not know if I've been lucky and have placed you, anyway I thought it important to let you know.
I send you a big hug and please do not eds blog this information in the tks.
Fernando Gavilan.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Love, love, love those Reed Buntings and that Crossbill is really neat, had not viewed an image of one for a long time. Phil, I am delighted that you were able to get out and savor some nice weather and to do what you and Will enjoy doing so much. Looks like you saw a few raptors as well. Cheers for another great day~

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