Friday, October 6, 2017

Into The Moonlight

At last, a morning without a howling wind and rain with a chance to do some ringing. I met Andy at Oakenclough at 0645, just before dawn in the light of a full moon. 

Full Moon

Nets were up in double quick time in readiness for whatever arrived on site. After more than a week of poor weather where little migration took place we hoped for an interesting and productive morning. 

As predicted there was a light wind and sun from the off. After 5 hours we were pleased enough with our steady but unspectaular catch of 35 new birds and five recaptures making up the total of 41 birds. Lesser Redpoll topped the score sheet for the first time ever here with finches outnumbered by tits, although our five recaptures were Blue, Great and Coal Tit from recent times. 

Totals caught: 9 Lesser Redpoll, 9 Great Tit, 6 Coal Tit, 5 Blue Tit, 5 Goldfinch, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Chaffinch. 

We catch fewer Meadow Pipits than Tree Pipits here in the hills so we made a special effort today to even up the score. 

Meadow Pipit

This is the last year that we separate Lesser Redpoll and Common (Mealy) Redpoll because from January the two species are “lumped” together as one (again); and not before time in my humble opinion. 

At this time of the year most of our redpolls are left unsexed as they show very little if any redness in their body plumage, especially so if they are birds of the year,

Lesser Redpoll

Below is a first winter male Chaffinch. Easy enough to age via tertial colour, tail wear and colour contrast in the primaries, even in the field for those birders so inclined to show their prowess in  the often erroneous world of competitive birding. 

Chaffinch

Goldfinch

In the clear skies the visible migration this morning was far from spectacular with small groups of Lesser Redpoll and Goldfinch as the main constituents but noticeably few Chaffinches, hence the single one caught. 

Otherwise we noted 6-8 Swallows, a number of on-high Meadow Pipits, 5 Pied Wagtail and 1 Grey Wagtail but quite a number of birds too high to identify with any certainty. It was 10.30 before Buzzards took to the warming air whereupon we counted 6 or more in the sky together with one Kestrel.

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



17 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil! Pretty capture of the moon. Wonderful photos of all the birds. It is nice you had some nice weather for your banding. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Vandana Sharma said...

Enchanting moon

Linda said...

Beautiful birds, Phil, and the moon is spectacular!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

It was a lovely full moon last night. I did think about going out with my camera in the early hours but I wasn't as brave or motivated as you.
Beautiful captures of the meadow pipit and the lesser redpoll. I shall have to be on the lookout for these now! The chaffinch is always a favourite of mine.
Have a wonderful weekend Phil :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, stopping back to say thank you for linking up your post. The birds and moon are beautiful. Lovely photos. Happy birding, wishing you a great day and weekend.

A Colorful World said...

Beautiful full moon! Great pictures...slow and steady wins the race after all! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

sandyland said...

never saw a goldfinch like that ever so fascinating and educational to me

Schotzy said...

The clarity of the color and the marking is just beautiful.. gorgeous shots!!!

sandyland said...

Phil were you unable to see animal posts?/

Rajesh said...

Very cute colorful birds.

David Gascoigne said...

Good morning Phil: A productive session of banding. I am happy to report that I am seeing some of these species daily here in Slovenia, plus many others of course. It has been a great adventure so far.

♥ Anni ♥ said...

As always, your participation at I'd Rather B Birdin' for the weekend is very much appreciated. Thanks for joining in. To think, banding by moonlight [well, at least arriving with moonlight and the glow]....what an experience.

Beautiful birds you captured and ringed Phil.

Stuart Price said...

I'm surprised by how many Redpolls you got. I hardly ever saw any when I lived in Preston.........

Jean @sonotorganized.com said...

Your goldfinch is so colorful! Enjoyed seeing all the different birds and love the photo of the very full moon.

Powell River Books said...

They are doing a bird count here in Powell River BC this weekend, but I don't believe they capture and band them, only count what they see. - Margy

Lowcarb team member said...

...what a wonderful moon shot.

All the best Jan

Jenn Jilks said...

You always have an amazing time!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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