Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday’s Ringing

Tuesday morning promised a window of half decent weather so I met up with Andy and Craig for a ringing session near Oakenclough. Craig is back from University until January so is able to join us occasionally only. He takes well the banter he receives as the youngest member of the group, giving us ancient ones in return as good as he gets. Whilst our four hour ringing session was hard, concentrated and serious work it was also good fun when a lull in proceedings allowed time to talk. 

We caught a total of 79 birds, 44 new ones together with 35 recaptures from our previous four visits of November and December. Today’s high proportion of recaptures to new ones is quite high but left us at a loss to explain why, unless it is simply that more birds are adding this relatively new site to their established feeding circuit. 

After previous visits resulted in catches of more finches than members of the tit family, the situation was reversed today with the finch family finding themselves lower down the pecking order of 44 birds - 12 Blue Tit, 9 Goldfinch, 7 Coal Tit, 5 Great Tit, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Robin, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Dunnock, 2 Redwing. 

35 Recaptures - 14 Blue Tit, 9 Coal Tit, 6 Great Tit, 5 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch. Soon after dawn there was a movement of approximately 60 Redwing and 30+ Fieldfares, probably birds leaving a local roost. 

We caught two of the Redwing, both first winter birds - note the rather worn plumage and the tail fault bars on the bird below. 

Redwing - first winter


Goldfinch - male

Blue Tit - first winter

Chaffinch - first winter female

Otherwise the resident Bullfinches continue to evade us, as do the Lesser Redpolls which fly over and through the site with regularity. 

On the way home, a Stoat dashed from the roadside into hedgerow vegetation and then at Out Rawcliffe I had brief views of a Mistle Thrush plus 40+ Fieldfares.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday .


Jo said...

You do see so many birds and other wildlife, Phil. And your images are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Jo

Chris Rohrer said...

I think that makes for a successful outing Phil! Finding birds returning to a spot would be interesting. I still haven't had that happen here. On some of the ringing operations, we are lucky to find one. Again, another fantastic series of birds. Are the Redwings the same as our Redwing Blackbirds here? I have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

TexWisGirl said...

that goldfinch sure steals the limelight. :)

Margaret Adamson said...

You are making me so jealous as I still have not seen a Redwing and your shots are wonderful

Wally Jones said...

I'm happy you had at least a bit of better weather and from the sound of it you took full advantage. That's quite a tally of birds! Fabulous photographs and I'm still jealous of you ringers having a bird in your hand to admire.

The high recapture rate is quite simple to explain once you understand the science behind it. Having been initially ringed and moved on, these birds subsequently visited "Another Bird Blog" on the Inter-mist-net and they knew a return trip would result in another headline they could brag about!

Have a great week!

Chris Rohrer said...

Thanks Phil! That's what I thought! The Redwing didn't look quite right. Sometimes they have subspecies etc but this is a completely separate bird......pretty cool thrush!

Adam Jones said...

Cracking Redwings.

Kay L. Davies said...

Aww, that young redwing does look a little the worse for wear.
The goldfinch and the blue tit are both beautiful, and the chaffinch has such a cute face. I think she and I could have an interesting conversation.
Bully for Craig putting up with you old fellas. I'm sure he learns a lot from each of you.
So nice to be back to blogging. I'm hoping I last for a while. It's been an emotionally difficult year, losing my niece's husband at the age of 36, and now two good friends of mine with cancer: one definitely dying but taking it well, and the other determined to stick around even though this is her second bout of cancer.
It has all dragged me down somewhat, and I've also been deeply involved in household renovating so my blogging life did suffer.
I hope all is well with you and yours.
Hugs, K

eileeninmd said...

44 new birds sounds good, right? I love the photos especially the Goldfinch! Happy birding!

Linda said...

Your posts and lovely birds always bring brightness, Phil. Thank you so much for sharing them.

David Gascoigne said...

I'm glad to hear that the young guy know how to put you oldsters in your place! Whenever I go birding with young guys I am always amazed at the boundless energy they have....memories of yesteryear for me!

Marie said...

You do such a wonderful work with your banding. It has to be rewarding too.

Terri Buster said...

What a wonderful group of birds you captured- great photos.

Mary Cromer said...

That is a whole lot of ringing done in 4 hours with these sweet beauties. Phil, what is the most times you have ever recaptured a single bird?
I am still in resting mode and it is NOT fun, with no new photos taken in 2 weeks, minus 2 that I took of a GHO in the dark...but will try and share later.
Happy almost weekend~

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

So many birds! In awe as always and grateful there are people like you doing the field research ....merry Christmas!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful images! I love the close up of the redwing.

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