Thursday, March 28, 2019

Mostly Redpoll

Thursday morning promised more in the way of migration when the weather forecast suggested a brighter start and a 5 mph breeze from a WSW direction. I met up with Andy at Oakenclough at 0630 where we were joined today by Bryan who was keen to see a few spring redpolls. 

It seemed like we were onto a winner when soon after first light came a flurry of small finches and a tiny passage of high-flying pipits in the clear visibility. After the initial burst of activity we went through a quiet patch with hardly any birds finding the nets followed by a dribble of more redpolls that did. 

There was a noticeable lack of Goldcrests and Meadow Pipits this morning, two species that should be on the move in large numbers at the end of March. At 1130 we packed in with a total of just 20 but of mostly birds with high migratory credentials: 11 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Siskin, 2 Goldfinch and one each of Great Tit, Dunnock, Treecreeper and Meadow Pipit. 

The shape and colour uniformity of the pipit’s median and greater coverts told us that the Meadow Pipit was an adult bird rather than a second calendar year. 

Meadow Pipit

Siskin

Lesser Redpoll 

Lesser Redpoll 

Lesser Redpoll

During much of the year, and certainly in March, it is virtually impossible to age or to sex a Treecreeper. 

Treecreeper 

Once home I visited the next stage of the ringing process, entering the twenty birds into DemOn (Demography Online). My blogging birding pal David Gascoigne in Ontario remarked just the other day how quickly the BTO returned information to us about a ringed Siskin we caught at Oakenclough.  

David is absolutely correct. Ringers in the UK are helped enormously by the BTO’s online system DemOn that allows the same day input of birds caught, and then with the click of a button the transfer of that data to the BTO and their national database. 

Entry page - DemOn - Demography Online - BTO

A glance at the input page of DemOn gives an example of how much data can be collected by ringers. Ringing is not simply a question of fitting a ring and then releasing that bird. Through DemOn bird ringers collect many different sets of information, much of it obligatory, other bits suited to a particular project or interest of the ringer, but all of it highly valuable to further the cause of conservation of birds. The time and place of capture together with the habitat, plus the age, sex and biometrics of the individual add new dimension to the information that ringers are able to provide about a bird’s life history. 



19 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

The Redpoll is one of my favorites. Lovely birds and photos. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day. Have a great weekend ahead!

Rhodesia said...

Love the Lesser Redpoll a bird I have never seen. Treecreepers fascinate me but I have not seen one for ages. The internet is amazing. I remember the days of no computers and no mobiles - but guess as we knew nothing better snail mail and dialup phones were very up to date ☎
Hope you have a good weekend it is just around the corner. Diane

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

I love the Lesser Redpoll but it was lovely that you handed the Treecreeper Phil

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Phil: In reading this piece it struck me, as it has done before, that there seems to be a complete absence of women involved in bird banding jn the UK and I wonder why this is. Here in Canada it is close to a fifty/fifty split; in fact it would be unusual to visit a bird observatory or banding station, and not see women involved. Futhermore, there are often more female students than males in biology and related courses at universities. I wonder why we see this difference?

Tanza Erlambang said...

so little cute bird (tree creeper)....
glad to read your report.
have a great weekend

Adam Jones said...

Good to see a Treecreeper up close rather than shimmying up a trunk. It's interesting to see how much info is available on the BTO website now. I've always sent off ring details by email and then await a reply. Good to see progress.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

They are all beautiful birds and photos. It is nice to see the closeup photos of the birds you ring. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I like learning more about your ringing experiences and reading the comments David G. makes...I'm always interested! And I love that little tree creeper. What a cutie. Look a little like our Wren. I wonder if he sings as loudly! Enjoy your weekend!

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

What a fascinating post! I love seeing these birds so close, especially the tree creeper! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Betty Crow said...

Wonderful post. I always learn so much here. Have a wonderful weekend!

Anu said...

Hello Phil. Interesting post. The treecreeper seems to be a little annoyed - it looks fun.

Anni said...

Reading David's comment about women banders, I would love to try it. Or at least go along with you & Andy just to learn. Seems the DemOn is a great asset. 20 birds is a good number...better than none. LOVE THE face-on photo of the Lesser Redpoll

Thanks so much for sharing your photos and adding a great narrative for all of us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin'

Regine Karpel said...

Love.

Lowcarb team member said...

The Lesser Redpolls' colouring is gorgeous.

All the best Jan

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I so appreciate all you do and that you take time to share the information (and amazing close-up portraits) with us amateur bird lovers.

Handmade in Israel said...

Wonderful photos! The Lesser Redpoll is a nice looking bird.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

It must be amazing to hold on to so many birds

NCSue said...

I love seeing your bird photos - almost every week I learn of a new species that isn't found here.
Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/04/somethings-squirrely-on-april-fools-day.html

Catscue Cat Mom said...

Amazing! They sat right on your fingers, truly wonderful photos.

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