Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Siskin Control

After almost three weeks of rubbish weather I feared there would be no ringing ever again. The perpetual winds eased on Monday when Andy managed to get up to Oakenclough for the first time since 1st March. I couldn't make it but was hopeful for later in the week. 

Andy caught the first migratory Meadow Pipits of the spring plus 3 Goldcrest, 2 Lesser Repoll and 2 Siskin, all probable migrants. 

The vast majority of Meadow Pipits returning north at this time of the year have wintered in France, the Northern Spanish coast Portugal, inland Southern Spain and Morocco. They often pile through in huge numbers, especially so if they have been held up as they have this year. The early bird catches the best breeding territory as well as the early worm. 

Meadow Pipit 

After a day of mizzle and drizzle on Tuesday the forecast of zero wind for Wednesday gave us more hope so we arranged to meet up at Oakenclough at 0630, despite the chance of early mist and light rain. 

A Misty Day 

The forecast was correct with mist/fog plus visibility down to 70 metres holding until 1130. Although we caught 20 birds, the poor conditions prevented any obvious visible diurnal movement of Meadow Pipits. 

Our 20 birds comprised 7 Siskin, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Goldfinch and one each of Lesser Redpoll, Brambling, Wren and Blue Tit. In the poor light all today’s photos are at ISO3200. 

One of the seven Siskins, had a ring on the left leg, immediately telling us as right-leg ringers, that we had a “control” – a bird ringed elsewhere. S896866, an adult male had probably been ringed in 2018 or early 2019. We will find out in a day or two. 

Siskin - adult male 

Siskin - adult female 

Siskin - adult female  

The single Lesser Redpoll caught was a rather dull second calendar year female. 

Lesser Redpoll- second calendar year female 

Towards the end of the session came a pleasant surprise by way of second calendar year male Brambling. Bramblings have been especially scarce during the winter, but this can be a good time of year to pick up on species as they head north from places unknown. 

Brambling - second calendar year male 

Brambling - second calendar year male 


The Ringing Station 

Stay tuned. There's more birding, ringing and pictures soon if the weather holds good.

Linking today to Anni's Texas Birds and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Rhodesia said...

Love that little wren, I really think they are cute! The weather here looks like we have some improvement, the rain has gone and the sun is out, but we also had a frost this morning. Hopefully, we can get some work done in the garden without paddling around in the mud! Once the garden is fixed maybe I can get out with the camera! Hope the remainder of the week is a good one for you. Diane

eileeninmd said...


Beautiful birds and photos. I love your pretty Wren, Siskin and the Redpoll. The Brambling is a beauty! Happy birding. enjoy your day!

Wally said...

The birds must be having thoughts similar to your own: "When are we going to get a break in this weather?!"

Hopefully, for both species, it will be soon.

In the meantime, the birds you're seeing are wonderful!

Your previous post on the Wren was bittersweet for us. During migration, we can see up to four species, but only one (Thryothorus ludovicianus, Carolina Wren) breeds here. He is a proficient songster, but it would be nice to hear the songs of the other species in the spring woods.

We look forward to your improved weather so we can vicariously enjoy birding in an alternate world.

Just returning from vacation so hope to blog all about it soon. As soon as I catch up on the unfinished blog series which will happen just as soon as I catch up on undone chores, which will happen - oh, never mind.

David Gascoigne said...

Good morning Phil: I am glad to hear that you got out for a spot of banding, even if not the most successful session ever. I am sure that Sue was glad to have you out from under her feet. I think that everyone loves a Wren. Sometimes people's attachments to a bird can be detected by the fact that they give it names, and Jenny Wren seems to evoke affection, doesn't it? Bluebirds are inordinately popular here, but as far as I know no one has yet named them. Maybe when I see my first breeding pair this year I will call them Bill and Betty Bluebird - then again, maybe not! I hope that the weather picks up for you and that from here on in you can band to your heart's content. I am sure that Andy shares in that fervent desire too.

italiafinlandia said...

How I would like to photograph a Brambling! They usually just stop in south Finland on their way to the very north...
Good luck with weather!

Margaret Adamson said...

How I would love to see a Brambling this year but your photo may have to do me. Love Jenny Wren

eileeninmd said...

Hello, lovely birds and photos. I am sharing our Pine Siskin this week, your Siskins are so colorful and pretty. The Meadow Pipit is beautiful, lovely photo. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Nice pics. I always enjoy seeing the birds from other places.

Adam Jones said...

Glad you managed to get and do some ringing finally Phil. The weather has been shocking for watching birds let alone using mist nets. I've just seen a lot of Meadow Pipits this morning, so it's nice to read up about where they may have been until just recently. Hope you get some good info back on the Siskin.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's good that you were able to get some done. The little wren really is a favorite! Wish I could send you some Florida sunshine...I would be happy to share! Enjoy your weekend!

sandyland said...

I learn so much through y9u

Anni said...

Yay! Not the most perfect weather yet, but days ahead are promising. Love the misty morning photo.

And your birds...naturally, all are beautiful. But, that male siskin would be a prize for me. And the female redpoll is attractive in her own way.

I thank you for taking time out in your day to link in and share your blog with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin'...and hope for better ringing days to come.

Betty Crow said...

Love the wren. Nice misty morning shot. Have a wonderful week.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I’m glad you finally got out again and the birds are beauties! But I am especially struck by the fact that I learned a new word ..”mizzle”.... I know exactly what it means and can’t believe I’ve never before heard this absolutely perfect descriptor of frequent Spring weather back in Oregon. Perfect. Thank you.

Lowcarb team member said...

I always enjoy seeing your bird photographs, the Brambling was my favourite today.
Hope your weather has improved. We've had a pleasant spring day today … it would be nice to have a few more. Time will tell!

Have a good week ahead.

All the best Jan

Angie said...

Phil - glad you were able to finally get out and about. I took a couple of hours today to do some birdwatching down by the creek, and was tickled pink to see my first breeding pair of mountain bluebirds so far this spring. I also saw a new bird for me, a Northern Shrike. I do think all of my birding blogger friends have done infected me!

NCSue said...

I can't imagine how you catch them! Fascinating!
Thanks for sharing at

Tanza Erlambang said...

I always saw "pipit" in my parent housing area when I was kid.
cute bird.
Have a great day

Related Posts with Thumbnails