Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yesterday And More Record Shots

On Monday I joined other ringers in helping Morecambe Bay Wader Ringing Group at Fleetwood where we hoped for a mixed bag of waders. The catch wasn’t as good as expected, the birds failing to come near the nets in the anticipated numbers. But a good day was had by all in the bracing sea air with lots of time to look closely at the 2 Turnstone, 3 Ringed Plovers and 5 Sanderlings caught. 

 Ringed Plover



The “more record shots” of the blog title are of the local Hen Harrier seen briefly when I crossed Lancaster Lane, Pilling on my way to Out Rawcliffe this morning. As usual the bird was very distant and I hadn’t time to stop more than a minute, and then just point, shoot and hope for the best. Any day now the bird should be on its way back to the uplands where Hen Harriers and other raptors  should breed in some numbers, a place where they are supposed to be a protected rather than persecuted. Maybe this striking male would be safer staying out Pilling way where it is coming to no harm other than being a subject of attention from bird watchers. 

Hen Harrier

When I reached the farm there was a flock of 30 Corn Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer and 30+ Chaffinch waiting for me; unfortunately the birds were half a mile from the feeding station. Along the track to the feeding station a Stoat ran across ahead of the car then disappeared from view, just as Stoats are forever meant to do. 

The main birds at the feeding station were the regular Reed Buntings, all 15 or more doing well to avoid my nets again, with just a couple of Goldfinch and another 10 or so Chaffinch. An adult female I caught had a wing length of 87mm, as long as they get and possibly a bird heading back to the continent. 

Chaffinch - female

A couple of average size males caught and today, wings no longer than the large female above. Today I heard my first Chaffinch of the year in song. 

Chaffinch - male

Things were pretty quiet otherwise except for the occasional rush of wings from the 500+ Woodpigeon, a Mistle Thrush in song, the croak of a passing Grey Heron, a drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker, and a single Skylark in song. 

Grey Heron

The morning was a little cool and cloudy for Buzzards to be active and just one heard today, together with the usual sightings of both a Kestrel and a Little Owl. 

Today Another Bird Blog blog is linking with Stewart at his gallery http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com.au/

Log in here soon for more record shots or better.


Gary said...

Another great series. Thar header is great. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

TexWisGirl said...

those chaffinches are SO beautiful. love their coloration!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas Phil.Un abrazo

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Beautiful shots!! I agree with TWG, the chaffinches are gorgeous.

mick said...

Great photos and all interesting birds but for me the best part would be seeing waders that close - especially sanderlings and ruddy turnstones which I only see at a distance around here.

eileeninmd said...

The Plover is cute, I am amazed at well you can handle these birds. The Chaffinches are pretty and I love the heron in flight. Great shots, Phil!

Russell Jenkins said...

Striking Chaffinch portraits and you make me worry about the harrier. The waders are so dainty especially when viewed in the hand. Amazing that they are such travellers.

Stewart M said...

Great shots (record or not)

How do you trap the waders? We cannon net them here.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne

Wally Jones said...

Nice report and fantastic photos!
For me, ANY shot of a Harrier would be welcome!
My understanding is, that in England, most of the persecution of the Hen Harrier is from games keepers of grouse hunting land?
Hope a change can be made to help this species survive.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Looks like you had a nice day with the birds and pals, even if you did not get as many as you would have liked. Yes, let us hope for the best for the Harriers and all Raptors, that they make it through their nesting season in the more protected lands. That just makes me so sad, to think that people would want to kill them. They are all protected here, yet some will still take them out~

Ken Schneider said...

Yes, harriers are tough to get here as well. Always seem to be going away. As many times they may patrol the same area, they see me and disappear for hours.

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