Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blown Away

The forecast was pretty good so I decided to head for Oakenclough and do a little ringing. Unfortunately and after a calm enough start, the easterly wind increased beyond expectations and I was forced to pack in having ringed just 8 birds: 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Redpoll , 3 Siskin and 1 Goldfinch. 

The Willow Warblers were my first of the year, two males of at least seven singing males on the site. Both Siskins and Lesser Redpolls have tailed off from recent highs with very few seen. There was a Chiffchaff on site as well as a Redstart but neither found the nets. 

Willow Warbler



Lesser Redpoll

It was on 31st March 2016 that Andy and I caught a Lesser Redpoll wearing Ring Number S109508, not one of our own ring series. It turned out via the BTO that the redpoll had been ringed in another ringer’s garden just 26 days earlier in Swinton, Greater Manchester, 52 kms south east of Oakenclough. This may not be the most exciting result from catching an already ringed Lesser Redpoll but this individual was almost certainly in the throes of migration on both 5th March and 31st March and remains at large to provide more data at later times should it be recaptured again. 

Lesser Redpoll - Greater Manchester to Oakenclough
We still have another outstanding Lesser Redpoll (D700 etc), this one caught on 18th March and for which we await information from the BTO. 

On the way home I stopped near Nateby to watch a displaying Buzzard when two Barn Owls arrived on the scene. Both were hunting very actively at 11am. When one caught a rat and carried it across two fields towards distant buildings, I wondered whether the owls might have young. It is not totally unknown that Barn Owls have youngsters so early in the year particularly following a mild winter, but if so the owlets will be quite small yet. 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

It was a shame the ringing was curtailed but as readers know there’s always another day with Another Bird Blog. Don’t miss it.

Linking today to Anni's Birding and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Linda said...

What a treat, Phil! Beautiful birds!

Anu said...

It will be interesting if that Lesser Redpoll should be recaptured again. Have a nice birding weekend!

Margaret Adamson said...

Love the Barn Owl images

David Gascoigne said...

I am sure that a couple of Barn Owls was adequate compensation to having to suspend the banding for the day. Great shots too.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, great shots of all the birds. The Barn Owl would have made my day! Awesome sighting. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Christian Weiß said...

Great observations and to see a barn owl with enough light for photos.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

The barn owl pics are super and how neat to see one capture a rat. Great shots of all!

Hawkeye BrownDog said...

Hi Y'all!

What beautiful photos. Love seeing the birds in hand.

Y'all come on by,
Hawk aka BrownDog

June Caedmon said...

I never tire of your owl shots, Phil. Sorry you had to pack it in early, but that was neat being able to track the migration so clearly on that Redpoll.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Barn owls in flight are wonderful shots. I like your little friends, too!

Chandra@GreenComotion said...

They are all so beautiful, I am happy to admit I can't pick a favorite.
Please keep up the good work!
Have a Happy Day!
Peace :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely shots of the barn owl, a treat to look at ... thank you

All the best Jan

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Stunning shots of the barn owl. They are beautiful, hope I can take pics of some one day.

Anni said...

Hope you have a terrific week ahead, and thanks so much for participating and sharing your birds for us at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

The other day I watched [without a camera at hand] a bunch of grackles chasing off a barn owl from the oak trees...what a sight.

Your owl watching with the rat and perhaps small owlets somewhere close by would be thrilling.

You always have such fun-filled, educational, and exciting 'work' ringing the birds. I so enjoy 'going along with you and Andy'.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh my! The photos of the owls are amazing! It's my hope that I see one this year on one of our hikes. We hear them sometimes but haven't been able to spot one. Great pics!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The ringed birds are wonderful and interesting about the second ringing of the one. And I absolutely love the owl shots. So beautiful. What a great catch and wonderful photographs. Hope your wind dies down soon.

mick said...

Sorry your morning ringing was disturbed by strong winds. The photos of the owls are really special.

Marie C said...

Such a successful birding day! Love the barn owls...hope it's true that they have young!

Barb said...

Always love seeing your bird photos. The owl in flight is amazing. Looks like it was watching you.

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