Friday, September 28, 2012

A Windy Wheat

It was pretty windy out Pilling Way this morning but something made me head off towards Pilling Water again hoping for a Wheatear or two to relieve the non-ringing days of late. Just a single bird today feeding in the sheltered stones, proving easier to catch than a whole gang of them urging each other on to migrate as per yesterday. Today’s hungry juvenile had a whopping wing length of 112mm, so an obvious Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa , but I had to find a sheltered spot for the portrait. 

Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa

 Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa

In the conditions there wasn’t much else of note: similar numbers of Pink-footed Goose at c5000 but 8/10 Barnacle Geese mixed with the distant flock, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 40+ Goldfinch, 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Little Egret. 

After, and in the hope there might be less wind, I thought I’d best go to Rawcliffe Moss to see if the low-lying farm track was negotiable and further up the farm, if my peaty, muddy parking spot was reasonably solid. If the answer to both questions was “yes”, I planned a top up the Niger feeders followed by a wander about. 

A long section of the track proved pretty deep in water, and then the parking location an uninviting pool of squashy black mud, but the GV did the business without trouble and then donning wellies I set off for a gander. 

There’s still a roving flock of Goldfinches about, their numbers gradually falling with c 40 today, at least 8 of them finding their way to the Niger food in the net rides where I topped the almost empty feeders up. It’s been almost impossible to get to the site in the last week with the continual rain and locally flooded roads but on the first half decent day a ringing session will ensue. The time was almost 11am but a few each of Siskin, Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit flew over, obvious remnants of any the morning’s migration but the steady breeze all morning had been too strong for ringing. 


On the floods I found 6 Pied Wagtails and a few more Meadow Pipits, but with the wind picking up the open mossland isn’t the best place to linger. On the way off the farm I clocked a Kestrel, a Buzzard and grabbed a shot of the local Robin which hangs around for seed spills. Clever animals these birds. 


Saturday and Sunday look breezy again, so fingers crossed for better weather and more birds soon on Another Bird Blog. 

Saturday Morning


Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas Phil,la del Petirrojo con ese fondo blanco me gusta.Saludos

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Your bird photos are so amazing. The colors in that goldfinch are incredible.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, I do love your Goldfinches and the Robins. Great post and your photos are wonderful. Happy Birding and have a wonderful weekend.

NewMexiKen said...

My goodness, I had to get up very early and drive down to Everglades National Park to see my first wheatear. Happily it was still there, though I could only view it from quite a distance, not up and personal as you can!

Snap said...

Wonderful portraits of your feathered friends. Well done Phil!

DeniseinVA said...

Brilliant photos!!! I loved looking through this collection of birds, so many sweet feathered friends!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Beautiful birds.

Have a great weekend.

La sonrisa de Hiperión said...

De nuevo por tu casa, disfrutando de las cosillas que nos dejas. Como siempre un placer.

Saludos y un abrazo.

Pia said...

I did not know the Wheatear so far. The other portraits.... all my darlings wonderful captured!

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!
Nice birds.

Adam Jones said...

Nice to see the Wheatear close up in the hand like that.

Anni said...

Your posts on birds and birdin' experiences are always so enjoyable, as are your fantastic images.

Sorry I'm so late this week getting around to view your bird shares and checking out the Bird D'Pots linkies!!! The computer of mine is now running a lot smoother to where I can actually get out and browse photos!!!

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

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