Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Changing Scene

Thanks to everyone who enjoyed and commented on yesterday’s Hoopoe post. There's’s time to catch up at

But as the old saying goes, “a change is as good as a rest”, so instead of birding or photography this morning I enjoyed a spot of mist netting at Out Rawcliffe. Now almost into June any new arrivals are drying up as the population of the plantation settles down in terms of numbers and resulting territories. 

It looks like warbler number similar to last season with 8/10 Whitethroat pairs, 6 pair of Willow Warbler and 3 pairs of Sedge Warblers; but this year there are 4 singing Blackcaps probably as a result of the plantation maturing in age and height. Blackcaps were first out of the net today, 2 roving and singing males almost together in the net whilst other species were vocal but remained near to sitting females. 

Total new birds ringed: 5 Chaffinch, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler. Recaptures: 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Whitethroat. The five Chaffinch ringed were nestlings from the nest containing eggs found on 18th May, the nest now holding five young crammed into the tiny space. 

Monitoring nests through the Nest Record Scheme and ringing nestling birds collects data which help to identify species which may be declining because of problems at the nesting stage. Also, we know the exact age of the chick, the precise place of birth, and also the number of siblings.

Chaffinch nest

Chaffinch chick

The picture below shows the brood patch of a female Whitethroat, the prescence or otherwise a way of sexing birds when males and females of a species are identical or very similar.

Brood patch - female Whitethroat

male Whitethroat

Willow Warbler


Sedge Warbler

Today’s birding was as quiet as we might expect at the end of May: 1 Kestrel, 4 Yellowhammer, 1 Buzzard, 2 displaying Curlew, 2 Lapwing, 20+ Tree Sparrow, 2 Corn Bunting.

The forecast is more or less continuous rain for tomorrow but if the rain holds off or the sun comes out I’ll check out the Oystercatchers and Skylarks at Pilling.



joo said...

Lovely post!

El rincón de Ceditas said...


Mama Zen said...

Fascinating pictures!

Kay L. Davies said...

Very interesting, Phil.

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a nice day of banding, I love all the birds. The chicks are so cute. The Oystercatcher shot is awesome. Great post, Phil.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Wow, how are you able to hold them in your hand??? Amazing photos and I absolutely adore the chicks. So sweet!!

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

The chaffinch chick looks so cute! It already showed some signs of the white wing bars. Love the flight shots of the oystercatcher as well. The one on the header is really cool.

Chris said...

Well done Phil. THat last oystercatcher shot is sumptuous!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful! So many birds, so many kids on this one day...lovely to see the chicks.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I am trying to catch up. Handling those sweet birds as you do must be so amazing Phil!

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