Friday, March 9, 2018

Back To The Linties

Linnets have hung around all winter at Gulf Lane but Friday morning and with a gentle breeze from the south east came the first opportunity for a month or more to catch a few. 

Earlier this week when I’d topped up the seed feed there’d been about 120 Linnets in the field, 8 or more Skylarks and 3 Stonechat dotted along the fence. 

I met Andy at 0700 and within ten minutes we had the usual configuration of nets ready for action. The Linnets appeared ravenous as they dived into the area of the food from the off. Well into March, the hungry month for birds, there’s not much of their natural food left so our seed mix is doing the job. 

We had a good catch of 23 Linnets but failed to catch a Skylark; despite two Skylarks being in the net, they both escaped before we laid a hand upon them. The Skylark is the Harrier Jump Jet of the bird world in being able to rise vertically from a standing start, even when partially enveloped by a mist net. 


Our catch of 23 Linnets comprised 8 first winter females, 2 adult females, 8 first winter males and 5 adult males. This brought our running total of new Linnets ringed during the Winter of 2017/18 to 237 individuals.

For only the second time at this site and with almost 450 Linnets behind us in two winters, we had only our second recapture – S800285 was ringed here on 2/11/2017 and recaptured today, but not in the intervening period. 

A glance at the coffee stained field sheet from today shows a few large males with wing lengths of 83mm. This was  surpassed by the very last adult male caught at 0930 with a whopping measurement and double checked via Andy as 87mm. Almost certainly this male will be from the Scottish and slightly larger sub species of Linnet, Linaria cannabina autochthona. By the way, and for those who collect such trivia, the old Scottish name for a Linnet is “lintie”. 

Today's Field Sheet



And now to work for the next hour or so in transferring the data for those 23 birds into the new BTO online database DemOn. 

DemOn - BTO

I knew that 87mm was a big one. DemOn gave me a validation warning.

"Wing-length queried as outside normal range of species – max 86mm"

"Validation warnings occurred when submitting the record. Please check the warnings, and click continue to save the record anyway. Please enter a comment for any warnings that require one before continuing. To go back and edit the record, click 'Cancel' ". 

A ringer’s work is never done but back soon with more news, views and photos.

Linking today to World Bird WednesdayEileen's Blog and Anni's Blog.


David Gascoigne said...

It’s true what you say, there is a whole lot of work to be done after the actual field work is completed. I wonder how many people realize this - or even give it a moment’s thought for that matter. In any event, Phil, it’s good to see that the weather turned benign enough for you to get out and do some banding. One might hope that the weather can only continue to improve from here on in.

Angie said...

We thank you for your work in the field and in front of your computer. I loved the description of the skylark!

Lea said...

Beautiful birds!
Have a great weekend!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I enjoy watching the birds more, I would leave the field work to the experts. Beautiful closeups of the Skylark and Linnet. Thank you so much for linking up your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

A Colorful World said...

Ive heard of Skylarks all my life, but never knew what they looked like. Glad you are seeing so many Linnets.

A Colorful World said...

Phil, was it you who suggested my little grey bird's ID? It can't be that bird because that one doesn't get this far north (unless this couple was badly lost!), but it did look very similar! I'll keep looking! Thanks for trying!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That is indeed a lot of work but so worthwhile! Enjoy your weekend!

Hootin' Anni said...

I would definitely like to witness that skylark taking flight vertically!! For all the beauty & photos shared, I thank you for adding your link this week at I R B B.

...and happy mother's day to the women in your family!

Betty Crow said...

I've heard of skylarks, but have never seen one. Beautiful shots. Have a wonderful week.

Stewart M said...

I always like a re-trap / control. We have some very old Oystercatchers - its like meeting an old friend!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Erica Sta said...

I enjoyed this Post! Wish you a wonderful time.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Your posts are always so informative. Great shots too

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

Your work requires a lot of patience. Thank you for your commitment and thank you for sharing your photos of those beautiful birds.

NC Sue said...

Another excellent post.
Thanks so much for joining us at

Fun60 said...

The Harriet jump jet -what a great description.

Lowcarb team member said...

Just catching up with your recent blog posts ...
We moved home recently so have got a little behind ...

Thankfully the day we moved we had good weather and didn't experience the 'Beast From the East' or the 'Pest From the West' but have to say I will be glad when Spring finally arrives!

Always good to see your bird photographs and see the sunnier views of further afield too!

Take care, my good wishes.

All the best Jan

Lady Fi said...

Sweet shots of the birds!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I can hear the accent by just reading the Scot word. Interesting about the validation warning.

Kay L. Davies said...

Hi Phil...I couldn't help looking up the Scottish Linnet,
and it says it is listed as a Red List species. So I looked that up, and it says "The red list. Red is the highest conservation priority, with species needing urgent action." And you know I love Scotland.
I get very upset about species that are at risk. On the west coast of Canada, conservationists have managed to bring back the bald eagle populations. I loved seeing and more eagles every year as I commuted from a far-flung waterfront suburb to the city of Vancouver.
Okay, I'll sign off before I get too far off the subject of British birds!
All the best to both of you.
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Kay L. Davies said...

Me again. Simply had to look this up:

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) This is my second visit. I did write a comment, but must have signed out without publishing. No comment! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the Linnet and the Scottish Sub Species, the Lintie, and I greatly admire the work you are doing. I bet you couldn't believe your eyes when you saw the whopper!:)

Ida said...

Both a very charming birds.

Jenn Jilks said...

This is hard work!!!!

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