Saturday, September 15, 2012

Left Or Right?

Don’t worry it’s not politics, just birds, so read on. At the top of Smithy Lane it was difficult to decide which way to turn, left for birding at Pilling or right for ringing on Rawcliffe Moss. Dawn was imminent and I could just make out a little movement in the trees, hopefully less than the BBC’s 10mph forecast, so as the steering wheel turned clockwise towards the moss I hoped the last minute decision was a good one. 

Everything started well with a hunting Barn Owl on the farm track and when I stopped to watch the Barn Owl heading off into the distance, 2 Tawny Owls called from the block of trees nearby.

With just a couple of nets up I caught quite well until 1030 when a strengthening breeze dictated taking the nets down again. 27 new birds of 6 species caught: 20 Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Dunnock, 1 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat and 1 Goldcrest. Visible migration was fairly light this morning, with c60 Chaffinches and 15/20 Siskins to the fore, followed by a thin passage of approximately 30 Meadow Pipit and ones and twos of wagtails, “albas” and Grey Wagtail. The pipit passage consisted of mainly single birds which hardly warranted an attempt to catch any. 

Including today, an examination of the Chaffinches caught here in September shows 67 new birds, only two of which have been adults (both females) with 65 juveniles. The 65 juvenile birds have been made up of 43 females and 22 males. These ratios correspond with figures from the autumns of 2010 and 2011, although this year the proportion of juveniles so far is significantly higher. 

Chaffinch- juvenile female

Chaffinch - juvenile male

One of today’s Chiffchaffs and almost certainly a female, was barely bigger than the Goldcrest.



At the end of the season it’s always good to mop up any remaining summer visitors. 



Although mostly busy with the ringing, in between times I managed to see more than a few other birds: 24 Snipe, 1 Jay, 50+ Swallow, 1 Raven, 3 Skylark, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Buzzard and 2 Kestrel. Coming from the farm track I disturbed 4 Roe Deer feeding just inside the wood. 

Roe Deer

So, a successful and rewarding morning when turning right turned out right after all. If only it was always that simple. 

And now for readers interested in bird migration and from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there is a fascinating account of visible migration during the 9/11 Tribute in Light held in New York, but please come back to Another Bird Blog soon.


grammie g said...

Hey Phil...Let me get this right,you was right to have made a right onto the road on the that right?? : }
I am in Buxton Me. staying with my 11yr. old grandson until Monday,while Momma is away! Where doing fine as long as the X Box game doesn't go down ; }!
Looks like your doing fine! I have a question..once the bird is in the net do they get stressed before you can get to band each of them?? That's a lot of birds for 1 guy!
Higher numbers of juveniles( in the bird world that is)of a species is a good thing. I guess that's why what you do is so important!!
PS I posted a bird for you this time just like you asked lol!!

Phil said...

Hi Grace, We go round the nets every twenty minutes when we take out the birds in there, usually two, three or four at a time. So in a three hour session we go round say nine times, when not all of the birds are in a net at one time. There may be some momentary stress involved in catching and handling a bird but nothing compared to the day to day stresses birds endure in migration, finding food, avoiding predators etc. Ultimately the aim of ringing is to find about the life of birds and how we can help them in this modern world.

TexWisGirl said...

wonderful little birds and beautiful deer. i was thinking the same thing as grammie g - about the stressed birds.

TexWisGirl said...

ah. just saw your answer pop up. thanks.

jabblog said...

Excellent work. I often wonder why I don't see any ringed birds in my garden. The only one we've ever had was a racing pigeon that went astray and stayed to feed and rest for a few days. The local wood pigeons looked very ordinary by comparison.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Phil, these are excellent images as usual. I always enjoy visiting here and learning more about birds.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil! I wondered too about the birds being stressed when caught in the net. Glad to hear your answer. Great post and I loved all the photos.

Adam Jones said...

Great stuff Phil. Great work with the ringing. Also great to see the Roe deer, as I have been seeing them recently too.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh that little Goldcrest, what a sweet little one. The Roe Deer is magnificent. I get myself in deep trouble, everytime, I even think to mention politics...I am a lone ranger;')~

Russell said...

Great way to start the day with the owls. All fantastic portraits as always with the deer being an added special treat. I'm going to attempt some bird watching this afternoon and hope I'm even 20% as fruitful.

Rohrerbot said...

Looks like an extremely productive morning today. That Roe deer is really interesting and different from our deer here. The owls would have made my day.

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Es increible la cantidad de aves que hay y tus excelentes capturas.
Un abrazo

Gary said...

Great showing, right? Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Anonymous said...

I would say that it turned out to be quite a wonderful morning!

NewMexiKen said...

You had a busy and successful morning. Ringing/banding contributes to the understanding and conservation of birds.

news said...

Hi Phil: Like the shot of the Roe deer.All the best JWB.

Anni said...

Like the song Right or Left at Oak chose a particular perfect route if you as me...but now I'm wondering just what would have been your share if you chose the OTHER way.

None the less, as always picture perfection!!! I always enjoy what you create for us on your blog. I'm also reading your first comment reply to Grace....three hours, nine times. That is incredible!!!! You're so very dedicated in what you do.

Thanks for linking up at the Bird D'Pot this weekend. I'm a little behind in paying my visits as I had a very busy weekend and wasn't online much!!! Your sharing is always much appreciated!!

Pia said...

So many little beauties! I had not a ringed one in my garden so far but a deer stops by.
Your photos are great!

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