Tuesday, December 12, 2017

No Snow, More Linnets

While the UK crashes to a halt after a few inches of snow, here in coastal and balmy Lancashire we escaped the white powdery stuff and made do with just a few frosty nights and days. It was the same this morning with a -3°C start but dry and wind-free for our ringing session in the wild bird seed mix at Cockerham. 

Andy and I were joined today by Seumus. After the ringing session all three of us were due to visit a farmland and woodland site in Cockerham where the owners had asked if we were interested in carrying out a bird ringing programme. 

The minus temperatures and frozen ground of this week may have already caused some Linnets to move off in search of ice-free feeding spots because our maximum spot count today was of less than a hundred Linnets. This compares with recent counts of 330 on 2 December and 140 on 10 December. Out of today’s comparatively poor numbers we still managed to catch 13 and so increased our 2017 autumn/winter total of Linnets captured here to 213. 

Today’s thirteen new Linnets comprised 3 adults (2 female and 1 male) and 10 first winters (8 male and 2 female). 



Other birds seen while ringing included 40+ Whooper Swan, 18 Snipe, 2 Little Egret, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and an unlikely Song Thrush sat momentarily on the fence where the Linnets congregate. 

Later when surveying our potential new ringing site we saw lots of Snipe with an almost a constant stream of groups of Snipe numbering 2-10 flying off the frozen fields or the ice bound ditches. Also, Reed Buntings, Tree Sparrows, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and a Kestrel. 



Looks like we are back to more normal weather tomorrow via 30mph westerlies, and no snow thank goodness.


eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, that is too bad you missed having the snow.I wish I could send you some of ours. I love the line up of the Linnets on the fence. The Snipe is a great sighting, awesome Kestrel pose.
Happy birding, enjoy your week!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Hello Phil. I hate how the UK grinds to a halt with a little snow.
It looks as though your linnets are queuing to be weighed and ringed!
Love the snipe. I always think of Kevin the snipe in the film "Up!"
Stay warm!

Lowcarb team member said...

I could always send you some of our snow!!!
We were surrounded by snowmen and snowball fights recently - the youngsters loved it!

I did spot a cheeky robin on our car aerial ...

I do like your header photo of the lapwing and the line up of linnets too.

Enjoy your week

All the best Jan

David Gascoigne said...

Your tiny digits must have been frozen extracting birds from the nets in those temperatures. We visited my daughter in Ottawa over the weekend - temperature when we left yesterday morning - minus 18! Pretty soon the people who band winter species such as Snow Bunting and Lapland Longspur will be setting out their cages baited with corn.

Betty Crow said...

Good Morning Phil. I like the Linnet line on the fence. I also posted a Kestrel. I have been chasing them around and finally got a couple of 'alright' shots. They are always too far away for my camera. Happy Wednesday!

Mary Cromer said...

That Kestrel image is brilliant Phil. Have a wonderful weekend~

Stuart Price said...

We had a huge dump of snow this week.............and all the birds seem to have disappeared.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

There are hardly any birds here. A few days ago a small flock of black headed gulls came swooping around, circling like racing pigeons let out for exercise.
Earlier today a single tit ran along a branch outside my window, then went away.
That's it.

A Colorful World said...

So sorry for the Linnets and really all the songbirds this time of year! Your Snipe photo is wonderful, and your Kestrel. Great post. Stay warm!

Margaret Adamson said...

Great work Phil and so many Linnets. Love the Snipe image. Have a great weeokend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, we are having snow every couple of days now. I wish I could send your some of our snow. Great photos and beautiful birds. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful photos of the Linnets ~ stay warm and cozy after birding ~

Happy Weekend to you,
A ShutterBug Explores
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Jane said...

Some great bird captures, thanks for sharing :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The Snipe has such a variation of colors...beautiful! Love those Linnets all in a row too...or on a wire! Enjoy your weekend!

sandyland said...

fenceline cool My bird is snipe by walk

♥ Anni ♥ said...

A couple of weekends ago, Corpus Christi [of all places] got 4 inches of snow!!! Wet, heavy snow. It was pretty to see from indoors. But after years of snowfall in the mountains of Colorado for my whole life where it stays on the ground from September to April....I don't like snow!! lol This snowstorm in Corpus was the first in 13 years.

Now, to your birds and narration. Excellent photos of course, love the one photo of them lined up on the fence. Sweet. And I always see snipes near the shore/water so your snipe in the grass was great. And your kestrel image ...perfection.

As always, thanks for sharing your post with us at I'd Rather B Birdin'. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

NC Sue said...

I'm so envious of your bird photography! Great shots as always, and thanks for linking up:

Stewart M said...

No snow here either - although thats less of a surprise I suppose. Good to find some snipe - always like seeing them.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Mary Cromer said...

Oh those precious, sweet, lovely little Linnets all lined up...love that

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