Thursday, December 13, 2012

Beasts From The East?

I’m wondering if last week’s blizzards in Eastern Europe, dubbed “The Beast From The East” caused Bramblings to head west? This morning I caught 4 new ones in the plantation at Out Rawcliffe, making nine this week. It’s not a huge number in the grand scale of the millions in which Bramblings can flock in Europe, but it could mean many more are heading this way soon. 

Bramblings can be overlooked in apparently single species flocks of very flighty Chaffinches, the Bramblings giving away their involvement by the slim, white rump. Very often a Brambling will give out a nasal contact call but sometimes not, when the unremarkable chattering flight call can be overlooked in the calls of accompanying Chaffinches.  Click on the "xeno canto" button to hear Brambling calls.


I think the attraction at Rawcliffe is the nyger feeders and the small amount of mixed feed on the ground, a mixture which contains sunflower seed. During the last large influx of Bramblings in 2010/2011 many took to using garden feeders. As a species they were very dominant in the feeding hierarchy by chasing off most interlopers.


It was a short session this morning, a late start only when the sun warmed the air, followed by a hasty pack up when a strengthening easterly wind blowing through leafless trees began to billow the nets. So, 4 Brambling, 4 Chaffinch and a Goldfinch with no recaptures of the Bramblings from Tuesday. 



The female pictured above had very visible fault bars. 

Brambling - fault bars

There were a good number of birds to take note of this morning, with` 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and a Little Owl before I even reached the farm. 


In between the bit of ringing I clocked up 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Snipe, 35 Fieldfare, 22 Redwing, 32 Skylark, 15 Reed Bunting, 250+ Lapwing, 1500+ Woodpigeon, 1 Mistle Thrush and 2 Raven. 


There’s more news from North, South, East and West pretty soon from Another Bird Blog, so log in soon to find out just where. 


Wally Jones said...

I spent part of this morning catching up on your last few posts. Very interesting reading! Fascinating information for several species and, of course, simply wonderful images. Here's to more Bramblings in your future!

Unknown said...

Here's to more Brambling in my future too :) Caught one so far this Winter.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Preciosos los Pinzones reales.Saludos

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of Wow.. but it fits your awesome photos, Phil.

Green with envy here~:)

Kay L. Davies said...

The fieldfare is beautiful, and the undersides of the buzzard's wings are, too.
I like the little brambling a lot, and I played its song while our Golden Retriever slept behind me. She woke up and looked around, trying to find the bird, then went back to sleep.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Maybe you had a bramble "fallout". When we stayed n the Texas coast one winter/spring there was a fallout because of storms and people said it was the best birding for years.

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Phil! The Brambling is a beautiful bird. I do have a question, who holds the birds while you are taking the photo? Your photos are awesome. Have a great weekend ahead!

Gail Dixon said...

I played the audio and all three of my dogs came wandering in with their ears up. lol These birds are beautiful. I always enjoy seeing all the detail and reading about the birds and their habits.

Russell Jenkins said...

The Bramblings are nice birds, Phil and your pictures really show that. Love the Buzzard shot and I'm learning more about your birds as I recognized the Fieldfare.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I will be glad when Christmas is over...Santa has had me right busy bringing in wood and keeping the fires burning doing his shopping "I'm pooped" ; )
Great photos of the Chaffinch, and
Brambling ,and what's up with this Beast from the East...that's enough to scare a Brambling to head west
: )!!
Here's hoping Grandma doesn't get run over by a Reindeer,if not I'll be back!!
Watch out for old Buzzards like yourself. ; )
Your Amazing friend Grace

Gary Jones said...

Lots more Bramblings please Phil. a bird I have not got in front of the camera yet, great shot of the Buzzard.

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