Thursday, November 2, 2017

Linnets And Swan Lake

It had been more than six weeks ago on 23rd September that we managed a ringing session at Linnet Project 2017/18. Six weeks of wind and rain which limited our visits to spot count days only with not a single visit for ringing purposes during October. At this site we need a dry morning and ideally, a wind of 5mph or less. 

At last the forecast was tolerable for this morning so I met Andy at 0715 and we set a couple of single panels through what is left of the wildflower/bird seed field after its autumn battering.  At the moment the finch flock is Linnets only and numbers about 130 at any one time so we were not too disappointed with a catch of 14 Linnets - two adult males, and the remaining 12 made up of 7 first year males and 5 first year females. This bumped up the Linnet ringing total here to 177 during the autumn of 2017. 

Linnet - male

Linnet - female


During July to September the post-breeding finch flock here numbered up to 250 birds, 50% of which were Goldfinch targeting a large crop of sow thistle. The sow thistle has now gone and so have the Goldfinch. It was during this period that we ringed nine Goldfinches. One of these Goldfinches, S800188 ringed here on 26th August was found dead 40 kms away in Darwen, Blackburn on 29th October. The Goldfinch had collided with a glass window and picked up dead by the householder. Collisions with glass account for a large number of small bird deaths. 

Highlight of the morning’s birding was the many thousands of Pink-footed Geese leaving their salt marsh roost just hundreds of yards away and over the nearby sea bund. We made no attempt to count the often very distant geese but they were in tens of thousands. We also noted good numbers of Whooper Swans flying overhead and later spoke to a wildfowler who said that other shooters had reported approximately 700 Whoopers in recent days. 

After our ringing I drove around to where the swans had dropped, a corn field left unharvested after it flooded badly during recent rains, a field which now resembles a shallow lake. It was here I counted 470 Whooper Swans, 15 to 20 Mute Swans together with many hundreds of large gulls, Starlings and Jackdaws. There is another herd of swans along at Sand Villa and Braides Farm so the shooters’ count of 700 swans is more than feasible. 

Swan Lake - Cockerham

Whooper Swans
Whooper Swans

In the same area as the swans were 15+ Skylark, similar numbers of Tree Sparrows and a single Grey Wagtail. 


Tree Sparrow

Stay on board. There's more birding, ringing and photos to come soon on Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Eileen's Blog.


Prunella Pepperpot said...

That's an inquisitive looking little sparrow!
The whooper Swans are gorgeous.
I always think it's such a shame when birds hit our windows.
Have a brilliant weekend Phil.

Lowcarb team member said...

So lovely to see all of the swans ...

Can you believe we are now into November!
The year has gone by so quickly.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend

All the best Jan

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Wonderful to see so many geese and Whoooper Swans Phil. Have a marvellous weekend.

Joyful said...

Lovely bird shots.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I would enjoy the Swan Lake. Beautiful captures of the swans! The sparrow looks cute. I would love to see the large group of geese. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

A Colorful World said...

The Linnet project is going well! Loved the pink-footed geese and the swans! Even the starling shot was especially nice.

Liz Powley said...

My lack of knowledge is showing up really well here. When you mentioned swans I went looking for your pictures and thought they look like geese. But no, you said they were swans. Wow, I had no knowledge of any swans other than the white ones (which I never see) and our black swans (which we see all the time). So I learnt something today. Thank you :D I must look up swans and learn some more.

We do have the starlings and sparrows (both imports that love farmland), but no linnets (that I know of, but that doesn't mean anything) and limited geese.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and some great photos.

Best wishes,

sandyland said...

jackpot this week

Rajesh said...

Great bird shots. So many swans in one place.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I know they can get a bad wrap, but I just think Starlings are brilliant looking little chaps~

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