Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Is Here

Thanks to the grim weather of late any opportunities for birding or ringing have been few and far and hence the lack of blog posts. With a forecast of a dry and less windy Saturday morning I arranged to meet Andy and Dave at Oakenclough where we hoped for a ringing session which might discover the changes since our last visit of 5th March. 

Five hours of pretty constant work gave us a total of exactly 70 birds caught and a very good selection of 13 species. Evidence of Spring migration came with the catching of new Goldcrests and new Lesser Redpolls, two species which are both typical of March ringing sessions. 

One of the Lesser Redpoll bore a ring not of our own series and so is highly likely to have arrived as a recent migrant. 

Totals and species caught: 16 Blue Tit, 12 Great Tit, 10 Goldfinch, 8 Coal Tit, 6 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Goldcrest, 5 Chaffinch, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Robin, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Blackbird and 1 Jay. 


The two Song Thrush were definitely an item as both were caught together and headed off in unison when released; so too with two pairs of Lesser Redpoll and the pair of Long-tailed Tits. Male Lesser Redpolls are now looking especially stunning in their Spring colours, while catching a Song Thrush is something of an occasion. 

Song Thrush

Lesser Redpoll

The male Nuthatch proved to be a recapture from previous weeks and a regular visitor to the feeding station. 


At least one Jay has been a regular visitor to the feeding station and while we don’t expect to catch the Clever Crow, we did today. 


We were so busy with ringing that our birding was limited but we did note a pair of Pied Wagtails on territory, one carrying nesting material. Also, a pair of Great-spotted Woodpecker, singles of Buzzard and Kestrel plus a good number of noisy Oystercatchers heading back and forth via the surrounding fields. 

Pied Wagtail

There's more news soon from Another Bird Blog.


TexWisGirl said...

just beautiful! love the tiny goldcrest!

carol l mckenna said...

Magnificent shots! Such beautiful birds! and You have Spring ~ you are blessed!

Happy Weekend to you,
artmusedog and carol

Breathtaking said...

It must be an amazing experience to hold a little fragile bird in the hand. Wonderful photography!:)

Linda said...

Phil, what gorgeous photos. I love the colours and patterns on the birds. Thoroughly captivating.

Marie said...

All of them are so wonderful, Phil.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Excellent close ups of the birds. I'm looking forward to the birds starting to return.

Valerie said...

Lovely captures Phil - the Gold Crest and Nuthatch are my favourites.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Lovely shots! The markings on the Song Thrush make me think of Chinese mountain paintings. :-)
The View from the Top of the Ladder

David Gascoigne said...

It seems to me that the Song Thrush would indeed be a special catch. When I was in Spain last July I would go down to check on a White-throated Dipper each morning, and without exception a Song Thrush was singing to me. Very special!

Mary Cromer said...

70 for your count sounds pretty good and that Redpoll is a beauty along with the others. I don't see too many of our Redpolls around here. Stopping by to visit a few of my favorite bloggers and trying to cheer myself up~

Margaret Adamson said...

great count and stunning close ups shots Phil.

Anni said...

I'm in love with that beautiful bird on the top of your post today Phil. Never heard of the Goldcrest before this morning. It's gorgeous.

Yes, the gray, gloomy weather is over here also. At least for now. And I'm enjoying the sunshine and birdsong.

As for me getting out and about with Bud --- the stents placement was done without open heart, the procedure is much less invasive and the healing/recovery time is cut in half. I was home, recouping, in 48 hours instead of a week's hospital stay.

Thanks for your concern, AND for sharing this link this week!!

i beati said...

so clear and distinct loved them

Wally Jones said...

It's good to hear the weather gave you a break! It looks like spring has sprung! You seem to have found a nice variety for ringing and that Song Thrush is really a good catch. Its plumage is so crisp looking. I'm surprised at the Jay being caught up and wonder if it damaged your netting?

I hope the weatherman is kind and you will be able to get out and about to check on all the nest building, courtship and migrant stragglers during the coming week. And perhaps affix a ring or two in the process.

Take care, Phil!

David Gascoigne said...

Good morning Phil: I noted your comment on Germán's blog about Purple Sandpipers. Here is where I have found them, in groups of twenty or so, twice on visits to the UK. At the Holyhead ferry terminal on Anglesey, where the boat leaves for Ireland, there are rocky areas and on two different occasions I have seen them there. In fact, 95% of all the Purple Sandpipers I have ever seen were at that location.They are very rare here, often at Niagara in winter, but so far out they could easily be starlings. I know you are not in Wales every day, but it's something to bear in mind if ever you are there at the right time of year. Lots of Red-billed Choughs near South Stack too.

Andrew Fulton said...

Another great post Phil with fantastic images.
Redpolls are a bogey garden bird for me. Fingers crossed maybe one day.

Adam Jones said...

Great looking Goldcrest. I've had a few in my garden recently. Always love to see a Redpoll too.

EG CameraGirl said...

The Goldcrest is quite tiny! Looks to be a sweet bird.

Fun60 said...

Great photo of the song thrush.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Of course it would have been a birding day to beat all other birding days for us mere mortals! All the pictured birds are wonderful, but the song thrush is my favorite photo.

Carletta said...

You are doing such wonderful work and these are super close ups!

Stewart M said...

Great collection of birds - its the surprise catches I remember from banding (sorry, ringing!) in the UK - like the second ever record of a tree creeper for a grassland area!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

victoria said...

Unas hermosas fotografias de cada uno de ellos

Tán pequeños y tán frágiles que parecen que están pidiendo ayuda

Gracias por compartir
Con cariño Victoria

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, great collections of birds and photos! Thank you got linking up, sorry I am late commenting!

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