Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chaffinches On The Move

Out on Rawcliffe Moss and after making the effort for a 0600 start the catching was initially slow whereby at 0740 we had caught just 4 birds. Will and I worried the session might end sooner than later, but just as the 100% cloud cover slowly opened out to patches of blue sky, birds appeared both in and over the plantation. The morning proved to be both interesting and fruitful, ending on a high with the sighting of a female Marsh Harrier hunting distant fields over towards St Michael’s. 

32 birds of 12 species caught, 31 new and 1 recapture, with highlights being the mix of warblers which included more Whitethroats and the beginnings of Chaffinch dispersal from further north of Lancashire. New birds: 14 Chaffinch, 5 Whitethroat, 3 Dunnock, plus one each of Tree Pipit, Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch and Blue Tit. After a hint of Chaffinch beginning their autumn dispersal last week, today the movement was more definite with 14 new Chaffinch of which 13 were juveniles, an autumn ratio which does not surprise us. Soon after 0800 Chaffinches began to arrive in singles and small groups from the north, some diving into the plantation, others continuing south. We estimated 80+ by the time we left at 1115. 


The Whitethroat recapture proved to be a male originally ringed here on 30th May 2012, the bird having by now undergone a complete moult and so in immaculate condition, ready to head back to Africa. The juveniles complete the same journey having undergone a partial moult only. Note the differing eye colours of adult and juvenile. 

Whitethroat - adult

Whitethroat - adult

Whitethroat - juvenile
Whitethroat- juvenile

We counted 3+ Tree Pipits over today, one of which we caught. 

 Tree Pipit

Just singles of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff today with perhaps one or two additional birds not finding the nets. 


Willow Warbler

We caught the Blackcap at first light, the Whitethroats later, all of which had been consuming Blackberries but perhaps not the Reed Warbler. 

Blackberry hands

Reed Warbler

Just like last week, the Lesser Redpoll proved to be a moulting adult, this one a male. 

Lesser Redpoll

We catch very few Greenfinch here but a singleton today plus a Goldfinch in the net next to Niger feeders which remain quite full with so much natural food still about. 


There was a noticeable movement south of hirundines today, unusual in that the majority of the birds were c40+ high flying Sand Martins with lesser numbers of Swallows and House Martins. Other birds: 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 3 Golden Plover over, 2 Raven over, 150+ Teal, the latter possibly disturbed from their wildfowler fed pool by the quartering Marsh Harrier which came in from the west then disappeared from view during heavy rain with car windows up. Sorry, no pictures of the harrier it being too distant in the gloom of yet another downpour.

 All in all a very satisfying and productive day with the continuance of the Chaffinch passage and the prospect of many more Chaffinches to come in the weeks ahead. 


eileeninmd said...

Phil, what a nice collection of birds! The Tree Pipits and the Redpolls are a few of my favorites. I also love the cute Willow Warbler. Where will all your birds go? I know the birds here migrate to South America. Great post and I enjoyed your photos. Happy Birding!

Anni said...

I have never heard of chaffinches [did I spell that correctly?]...your photos are always such a collection of fantastic birds! I admire your blogging ability to inform us and share some fantastic images.

Well done.

Thanks for linking up this week at the Bird D'Pot.

Gary said...

Great sequence!! When I see that Redpoll you sure remind me that winter is on the way because that's when I see them. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Andrew said...

Wonderful to see..

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Una coleccion preciosa de aves, se les ve tranquilos.
Un abrazo

Rohrerbot said...

Love all your pics today. Another successful day. It always seems so exotic to think that they will all fly to Africa and return again. Pretty neat stuff. Love the stains on the hand:)

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Definitely a productive day! Love those little Willow Warblers. Too cute.

Russell said...

Looks like a busy day and they all posed so professionally. I've been having a quiet old time in Japan and can only dream of the coming migration season...about a month away here.

Adam Jones said...

Nice birds Phil. The Whitethroats seem to make it hard for me to see them. They cab always be heard though.

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!
Nice birds!

Chris said...

Nice day you got and still no trace of wheatear. i wonder where ours are, as I've not seen any since I came back to France. We are getting a nice storm from the north now, so you might get some of our birdies ;-)

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