Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Pied Surprise

It’s a week since my last posting. In between has seen rain, rain, then more rain, and no chance of birding, ringing or lifting a camera. Given all the foul weather I was not surprised by news from Chris at Cockerham where after two days of relentless wind and rain he found a dead Avocet youngster, one of the chicks ringed on 24th June

Avocet chick 

It appears that during the bad weather the adults moved the chicks from open water to a more sheltered part of the farm but at least one succumbed. Let’s hope there are no more fatalities. Fingers crossed too that the Avocets return here in 2021. 


On the strength of different forecasts Wednesday morning was pencilled in as a “maybe”, and Oakenclough as the venue. The previous visit of July 1st saw the first real hints of autumn migration. 

This morning I met up with Andy and Bryan at 0630 to a 15-20 mph easterly wind, far stronger than several forecasts that all suggested 6-8 mph. After each of us had driven 40 minutes or more we decided to continue in the less than ideal conditions in the hope the wind would drop. 

As the morning wore on the wind dropped slightly and allowed us a reasonable catch of 24 birds – 21 birds of the year and three adults: 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Great Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Pied Flycatcher. 

Oakenclough springs a few surprises on most days. Our surprise today was the juvenile Pied Flycatcher. It’s a species we never catch in mist nets despite the fact that Andy rings many nestlings from boxes a quarter of a mile away. 

Pied Flycatchers are notorious for arriving unseen on their breeding sites and then leaving in autumn equally undetected. This one, AKE3941 was ringed at the nest box along with three siblings on 28 May 2020. 

Pied Flycatcher 

 Pied Flycatcher - juvenile/first summer

Greenfinch - juvenile/first summer

Chiffchaff - juvenile/first summer 

Willow Warbler - juvenile/first summer 

Strong early winds didn’t help our birding, a highlight being a passing Peregrine Falcon as it dive bombed a local Buzzard. Otherwise a few Swallows, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail and the arrival of autumnal Goldfinches around the feeders. 

Back soon. Don’t go away.

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


Wally Jones said...

Thank goodness you were able to get out a bit after a stretch of rainy days!

The flycatcher was certainly a nice bonus for your efforts. Hopefully, the days ahead will offer better weather conditions.

It is still difficult to conjure up anything around here as "autumnal"! Looking at the calendar, however, I know the grand movement will begin no matter in what season my mind may be residing.

We're also getting rain, but it's fairly predictable and our mornings are filled with opportunity!

Gini and I hope your nets will be filled with feathered friends for the foreseeable future.

Mike Attwood said...

Its interesting Phil, why birds in the hand sit so quietly. I think they must recognise safe hands and feel comfortable. Stay safe.

Rhodesia said...

Your weather has been pretty diabolical and our up until this week has not been that wonderful either. Suddenly we are enjoying the sun again.

Looks like you had a reasonable day. Love the Pied Flycatcher but the Chiffchaff is my favourite, very cute. Hopefully, the weather will improve and you will get more ringing done.

Stay safe and keep well, Diane

Ludmiła Jabłońska said...

Młody dzwoniec! Jaki zabawny!A! I muchołówka!
Ptaki w terenie super!Kiedyś widziałam szablodzioba, ale był tak daleko, że nie mogłam zrobić mu zdjęcia :-(

Tanza Erlambang said...

You got bad weather with continuous rain, while we are getting continuous heating...

Hope, weather is convenient for next several days.

eileeninmd said...


I wish we would get some rain! Your Avocet chick is so cute, they are pretty birds. Great capture of the Pied Flycatcher, pretty Greenfinch, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. They are all sweet! Great photos.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend.

Adam Jones said...

I'm sick of this weather too Phil. Been two or three weeks since I've been out with the camera due to the rain or dark skies. Great to see some of this years juveniles here though, and even better to see a Pied Flycatcher.

Anu said...

Hello. I wish you some sunny days!

Mae Travels said...

your photos of birds in the hand always seem to make the birds look much tinier than I think they are when seen on a perch or flying. Such delicate creatures!

be well... mae at

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm glad that you got to get out though. It feels good to do anything that is close to normal any more. Lovely Avocet! Happy weekend.

RedPat said...

It is wonderful to see the juvenile warblers! Glad that you were able to get out a bit.

Jean said...

Sad about the baby chick. Glad the weather cooperated enough for you to finally get out a bit. Hope it stays clear for you a while. Love all the bird photos. Seems the Chiffchaff looks more green than that Greenfinch. Makes you wonder how these birds get their names? Hope you're having a terrific (and sunny) weekend!

Hootin' Anni said...

I'm really running late today, and busy with a home project. So, I'll just say thanks for linking in today at I'd Rather B Birdin. I'll come back to read more when time allows later this week! Stay safe.

Stevenson Q said...

My first tine to see an Avocet chick and it's just super cute just like the mature ones. It somewhat reminds me of Kiwi bird chicks :) glad to be back here in your blog my friend Phil! Haven't blogged for quite some time. Have a great new week Phil!

NCSue said...

Great post, great photos as always.
Thanks so much for sharing at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I need rain here in central Florida. As always, I love visiting you and seeing the beauty you capture. Have a safe day!

Karen said...

The birds seem so tame in the hands. A nice series, love the flycatcher!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Such cute birds. The flycatcher is a cute little fellow. Have a grand week!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Even though I'm not a birder, I enjoyed your beautiful photos. Sounds like you had a good day.

Veronica Lee said...

We're having bad weather over here too. I just hate it when it rains.

Keep these beautiful bird captures coming, Phil!

Fun60 said...

I hope the avocets survive the poor whether you are experiencing. They are beautiful birds.

Lady Fi said...

Wonderful shots.

Angie said...

Phil - feast or famine, as the saying goes. You have rain and more rain; we have entered our dry season and the risk of wildfires escalates with each passing day. But the birds don't seem to notice - with our lake nearby, they have a ready water source and much to eat! Loved seeing your photos. Keep Dry and Carry On!

Lowcarb team member said...

Sorry about the weather ... but always nice to see your bird photographs.

All the best Jan

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