Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Chaffinch Morning

Everything was ready for an early start today. List of equipment duly ticked off, vacuum flask filled, breakfast on the passenger seat and camera at the ready for an early owl along the farm track. The organisation was so good I found myself out on Rawcliffe Moss in the dark, too early for an owl but with plenty of time to erect a few nets. No Will to share the burden this morning as he’s got other commitments for a while which means solo efforts from yours truly as long as body and soul stay willing and able. 

The morning proved to be busy, with barely time for a coffee or breakfast and I could have done with an extra pair of hands in dealing with the 42 birds caught, 40 new and 2 recaptures. New: 32 Chaffinch, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Blackcap, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Willow Warbler. The two recaptures were a Chiffchaff and a Goldfinch, both from last week. 


Willow Warbler

The numbers above tell the story of a morning dominated by overhead and arriving Chaffinches with a minimum of 100 birds from 0630 until 1045 when I packed in at an increase in wind speed from the previous zero. Today’s age/sex breakdown of the 32 Chaffinch caught - 18 female and 14 male, but every single one of them a bird of the year as an illustration of the juvenile dispersal from upland areas of the UK but north of Lancashire. 


The only other finch on the move this morning seemed to be Siskin, with c10 birds over, but still no sign of any numbers of Lesser Redpolls. The Greenfinch and Goldfinches caught were close to the Niger feeders, with a few of each species beginning to return to our supply rather than natural sources. There are lots of very young still buff-headed Goldfinches about, obviously from second or even third broods. 


The Blackcap had a goodish weight of 19.1 grams and a fat score of 30, the Sedge Warbler quite lightweight at 10.5 grams and zero fat. 


Sedge Warbler

I was fairly busy with the ringing to note much in the way of birding. At one point a gang of protesting Swallows alerted me to something happening in a net below them, and when I went to investigate a female Sparrowhawk was pocketed half way along a 60ft net but rose effortlessly out when she saw me appear 30ft away. Otherwise, 20+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Reed Bunting, 10 Snipe, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Buzzard and then half way through the morning, the inevitable Marsh Harrier on its vast circuit. 

Marsh Harrier

On the way home across Pilling Moss I looked to see if the Little Owl was out in the sun. It was. 

Little Owl

A successful morning. Here's to many more on Another Bird Blog.


DeniseinVA said...

A delightful collection of birds today Phil. Great photos as always.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

All your little birds are so sweet. Nice way to end the post with the owl. Great shots!

Gary Jones said...

What a great morning Phil, very jealous of the Little Owl, never seen one and would love to get one in front of my camera!

Rohrerbot said...

Phil, super great captures today. Love the little owl that could:) Great face. I think missing breakfast may have been okay for this productive day:)

Stewart M said...

I know that Little Owls are not really meant to be in the UK, but I always liked seeing them!

I spent my first 12 years here wishing it would start raining and the last three wishing it would stop!

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Hey Little Owl good morning to you, said I;') The little Chaffinch seems to be telling you good morning Phil. What no breakfast, or coffee before you got so busy, that is a bunch of birds with only you doing the task at hand. Have a good tomorrow~

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitos ejemplares capturados,me gusta especialmente el Reyezuelo sencillo.Saludos

news said...

Hi Phil: If the Marsh Harrier we saw at Eagland Hill floating shorewards (Adult Female) around 12.30pm is the same as yours ,it is covering a wide area.All the best JWB.

eileeninmd said...

Great collection of birds and photos. I lvoe the cute goldcrest and the Blackcap looks like a different bird. Have you posted about the Blackcap before? Maybe I missed a post. The little owl is another one of my favorites. Wonderful photo and post. Happy Birding!

Anni said...

Stunning!!! Each and every ONE of your bird photos.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos of these birds. Sounds like what would be a great effort for me is a lot of fun for you...I am glad because then I get to enjoy learning about all these birds.

NatureFootstep said...

the Little owl is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing it. :) And for joining NF Winged.

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