Thursday, February 11, 2016

Birding, Ringing And Broke

Apologies for the shortage of blog posts but just lately but I have been rather busy with non-birding but essential tasks like fixing the garden fence and buying a new PC. 

On the positive side our new brand new set of posts and rails will deter marauding cats and there’s now a solid base from which to secure a mist net pole. 

My minimal IT skills meant that the trailing-wires installation of the new PC was initially less than perfect but I loaded Integrated Population Monitoring Reporter (IPMR), moved 130,000 ringing records at the third attempt and even managed to transfer my favourite blogs into Firefox Favourites. 

So now I’m skint and it’s a blessing that birding costs nothing - well relatively so, unless you’re also a ringer, but that’s another story. 

After keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts Andy and I finally got a bash at Oakenclough on Thursday. We met up at 0730 to a frosty but sunny start and were joined today by Seumus and Jean. 

The ringing office

A five hour session produced 24 birds - pretty slow going but then January/February is both the least productive and the slowest part of the year for catching birds. Our 24 birds were made up of 21 new and 3 recaptures/retraps from previous occasions in 2015. New birds today - 7 Siskin, 5 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit. The recaptures comprised one each of Goldfinch, Blue Tit and Coal Tit. 

Today’s Siskins gave a good range of ages and both sexes for direct comparison. 

Siskin - adult female

Siskin - adult male

Siskin - second year male

All of the Goldfinches proved to be second years. 

Goldfinch - second year male

With the breeding of most of our birds just weeks away, now is a good time to brush up on bird song , before the dawn chorus becomes too overwhelming as spring migrants arrive to join the resident songsters. There was a good list of species in territorial song this morning – Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Wren, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit and Dunnock. 


Non-singing birds today, including those seen or heard flying overhead included Greylag Goose, Cormorant, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Siskin, Starling, Lapwing, Curlew, Chaffinch and Oystercatcher. 

Several small parties of Oystercatchers flew overhead giving their customary “piping” calls. The species breeds close by whereby their apparently random flying to and fro is a prelude to the setting up of nearby breeding territories. 


Rich or poor there will be more birds soon. And remember it costs nothing to log in to Another Bird Blog.

Linking today with Eileen's Saturday.


Lew Newman said...

27 yesterday & 14 today, including a birthday Brambling (6M)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Well,it costs nothing except to replace my PC as we did last month ... I feel your pain. Beautiful birds during your session here ... I think I'd be in heaven just to spot your goldfinch, (second year male or older apparently). They're so colorful ... I like "our" little yellow color spots too, but they are plain in comparison.

David Gascoigne said...

Skint? I think not oh Squire of Pilling, financier of fine fripperies for banding birds, world traveller to sunny climes, pie and coffee denizen of Lanzarotte. Does it ever end? And a new computer to boot (now there's a pun) -
we may have to start to call you Midas!

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images Phil, the Oystercatcher is fabulous, flying.

Vandana Sharma said...

Keep us in awe with your beautiful bird photographs.

Here is another blog on bird, hope you will like it.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, the newer computers are so much faster. Good luck with your new PC! Awesome shots of the birds, I love the Siskin and the Goldfinch. Cool flight shot. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) Superb pictures of the Siskins, Finch, and flight shot of the Oystercatcher, and last but not least, I love the beautiful Blackbird image.Have a good weekend!:)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, I just wanted to stop back and say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful birds, so colorful.

Phyllis Oller said...

Loving your bird pictures,have a great day!phyllis

Anni said...

What a visible difference in markings from adult to the one you have of the '2nd year'. Something you probably wouldn't notice unless you had two photos like you shared to compare.

A new computer!!! Oh how fun.

Marie C said...

So hard to make tech changes! Love the photos, particularly that pretty blackbird!

i beati said...

That second year male dressed up and came to the party - All happens at once my tv and washer dryer all at once

Mary Cromer said...

It is amazing how much the back of the Blackbird, reminded me of our Robins... Always chores to be done and I hope that your new fence set-up works well for what your needs are.
We had a fence around the entirety of our property when we moved here some 35 years ago. Between the herds of deer, taking off the top two rails over and over, to having winds taking down huge trees and taking out several fence posts and all rails, we just gave up on trying to keep it up. Now it looks kind of pitiful and I would sometimes rather not go on vacation and have a new one built, but it probably will never happen~

NC Sue said...

It sounds like you've had plenty to keep you busy! I'm glad you found time to take these wonderful images and to share them at

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