Thursday, February 13, 2020

Beating Dennis

We’re braced for more bad weather at weekend as forecasters warn that Storm Dennis follows hot on the tail of Storm Ciara. There’s a yellow weather warning in place for Saturday. 

Meanwhile, and away from click-bait headlines, bird ringers scrutinise the forecasts for a window of respite where they might connect with a few birds. Thursday looked such a day with a few hours of lesser winds and the chance of an odd shower rather than bouts of rain. 

The previous visit to Gulf Lane and Project Linnet was 5 February when we bumped up the total of Linnet captures for winter 2019/2020 to 109 new ones and two recaptures from 2018. That’s about half where we hoped to be at this point in 2020. 

Recent visits to drop our supplementary seed have shown the Linnets’ hunger has overtaken their natural and normally very cautious nature as groups of up to 30 birds fed in the seed drop zone. 


On Thursday morning I met up with Andy at 0845 where we set the whoosh net, dropped more seed and then waited.  We didn’t hang around too long as the Linnets arrived in their customary fashion of small groups that eventually built to a flock of circa 140 individuals. 

Two pulls of the whoosh net resulted in a catch of 39 Linnets - 37 new unringed ones and 2 recaptures. The 39 comprised of 13 second year males, 11 second year females, 10 adult males and 5 adult females. 

Field Sheet 

Recapture S348959, now an adult male had been ringed here at Gulf as a juvenile of unknown sex on 5 August 2017. We have no recaptures for this bird from 5/8/17 until today, a gap of about two and a half years. 

Recapture AKE 3707 had been amongst the catch of 5 February 2020. 

Linnet - adult male 

Linnet - tail of adult male  

Not all adult tails are as clear cut as the example above. 

It seems the Met Office has gone "woke" and prepared for the year of storms ahead with a suitably non-binary, diverse and inclusive list of names in the frames but no Andy or Phil as far as I can see. 

Storms to come

Stop by to Another Bird Blog soon to see how we beat the Met Office storm predictions.

Linking today to  Anni's Birding and Eileen's Blogspot.


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Yes I would say batten down the hatches for the weekend although while I live the last one was tame thanks goodness

Ludmiła Jabłońska said...

Obrączkowanie to ciężka praca, ale też przyjemna. To jednak misja i obcowanie z naturą!

Phil Slade said...

Ludmila says "Ringing is hard work, but also enjoyable. However, this is a mission and communing with nature!"

Yes Ludmila. You are absolutely correct.

Anu said...

Hello Phil. Great work with Linnets.
Soon the linnets will return from Central Europe to Finland, too. Have a great weekend!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I hope you and the birds are safe from the storm Dennis. The Linnets are pretty, great photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

Anni said...

I've said it once, and I'll repeat....I'd love to go out with you and Andy to learn about ringing. It would be so educational. Stay safe from the storms!

Thanks for sharing today at I'd Rather B Birdin'!

Shiju Sugunan said...

Linnet is very pretty. Good luck with bracing the storms!

Rhodesia said...

It must be very rewarding catching birds that you ringed a few years back, I am sure I would be very excited.

Watch out for the storms, interesting that they have names for the rest of the year, hopefully they will not be too close together!!! We have only been catching the edge of your storms but it has been windy enough for us as well.

Take care, Diane

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Stay safe during the storms!

Veronica Lee said...

Lovely photos of the Linnets, Phil.

Stay safe!

Fun60 said...

I doubt you would have been able to do much ringing in all that wind and rain thanks to 'Dennis'. I wonder how the met office choose the storm names.

Wally Jones said...

We certainly hope dastardly Dennis has not been too damaging in your area.

Project Linnet appears to be continuing as daily forecasts permit. The regular seed drops may be saving many Linnet lives as flooding is surely destroying some of their normal sources.

Fingers crossed here for a quick recovery nation-wide.

Meanwhile, our explorations are glorious and I continue to be very lazy about blogging. Something must be done ...

Lady Fi said...

Hope you survived the storms!

Angie said...

Phil - glad you got enough of a break between Ciara and Dennis to ring some birds! I liked the photo of the log book - an inside look into your world!

Lowcarb team member said...

You did well to get some birding done!
These storms have not been fun have they!!!

Yes, we now have another on the way!
Stay safe.

All the best Jan

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