Friday, August 7, 2020

Another Day, Another Drama

There was patchy rain around at early doors. When at 0630 the three of us arrived from our respective but different journeys, Andy said he drove through a few showers, Bryan experienced the same, but my journey had been rain free. At Oakenclough all was dry and bright with just a slight breeze for another ringing session. 

It’s fair to say the morning was slow but steady with 23 birds caught. More Willow Warblers, another Tree Pipit and a good show of Goldfinches. Total - 8 Goldfinch, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Wren. 

The House Sparrow was a real rarity, the first one ever caught here at 700ft above sea level. 

We kicked off with 2 new Coal Tits, a species usually greatly outnumbered in birding and ringing references and reports by its more abundant cousin the Blue Tit. But up here at Oakenclough the Blue Tit doesn’t have it all to itself. Since 2014 we have 365 captures of Coal Tit compared to 489 captures of Blue Tit, a ratio that many ringers would prefer. 
Coal Tit

The Treecreeper capture was rather unusual. As we checked birds at the feeder of the nearby house we noticed a Treecreeper sat immobile on a window sill. Because it wasn’t moving we wondered if it had stunned itself against the window glass, a not unknown phenomenon for all sorts of birds. Andy went to investigate and the bird allowed itself to be picked up. We put the Treecreeper in a bird bag and hung the bag in a warm car for twenty minutes or so before taking a look inside. The bird was full of beans, seemingly none the worse for its attempt to fly through glass so we ringed and processed it as normal and then watched it fly off to the top of the nearest tree. 


While we caught one Tree Pipit, at least 5 others escaped our attempts to catch them. The one caught was a juvenile/first summer. 

Tree Pipit

Five more Willow Warblers gave us 70 captures of this species here from April to date. 

Willow Warbler

Other birds seen - 15 Chaffinch, 8 Swallow, 5 Grey Wagtail, 2 Greenfinch, 4 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel. 

We received news of a Lesser Redpoll ringed here on 28 October 2019, an adult male ring number AKE3853. This same bird was recaptured by other ringers at the RSPB Reserve Geltsdale, Cumbria on 3 August 2020. 

This was possibly a Lakeland bird that by October was on its way south, only to return to Cumbria in 2020. 

Lesser Redpoll - Oakenclough and Geltsdale, Cumbria 

Back soon. Don’t go away. 

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Birding and Anni's birding.



The Padre said...

Such Beautiful Little Head Feathers There - Fantastic Post As Always - Thank You


Mike Attwood said...

Nice to see you keeping busy. Ringing is something that I should have taken up years ago. there is nothing I like better than being close to wildlife. But I have settled for my photography which can get me very close. Stay safe. Mike.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,

Beautiful closeups of your ringed birds. I am happy that the Treecreeper was OK. I would love to see a Redpoll here. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a great day and a happy weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's tricky to get out in the weather but I'm glad you had a good day. You are doing something so important for the future! Happy weekend! I won't go fact, it's too hot to even go outside and play today!

Wally Jones said...

Another Good Report from Another Bird Blog!

The long-term numbers of Coal Tit seem encouraging. Hope it bodes well for their future.

Now, we may have to cry "fowl" with this Treecreeper incident. I mean, technically, you didn't capture the hapless creature in your nets so it hardly seems fair to count it in your official ringing data. If word gets out, all the ringers will be setting up window panes around the countryside standing by while unsuspecting birds crash into them to be scooped up and forced to wear jewelry. Sigh. Birding ain't what it used to be.

We counted our first "fall" migrants yesterday! Two female American Redstarts appeared along a new trail we were exploring. About the average time of year for these early birds.

Gini and I hope your weather cooperates as summer rolls along!

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Such beautiful birds! 😍

Jean said...

Wonderful bird photos and I appreciate the map to help visualize things a bit more. The Coal Tit reminds me a bit of our chickadee, wonder if they are related? Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

NCSue said...

The coal tit vaguely reminds me of our chickadees.
Thanks for sharing at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I always feel amazed when I see you holding little birds. You must be very tender not to hurt them. Lovely photos as always.

Rhodesia said...

I wish we had a Treecreeper around here, they fascinate me. As for the rarity of House sparrows, I will have to send you some 😊 Update on the owls is that I have only seen them a couple of times on neighbours barn roofs, I have heard them fairly regularly though. With the very high temperatures we are having I think they are sticking to the trees during the day trying to keep cool.
Stay safe, Diane

Hootin' Anni said...

I am sure that I commented on this over the weekend to thank you for linking up at IRBB...I don't see that I did tho. Maybe I typed it up and forgot to click publish.

You know without me saying anything that I always enjoy your informative, educational blog posts.

Joyful said...

Beautiful little birds.

judee said...

Very interesting post and lovely photos. I had to look up bird ringing because I didn't have a clue what it was and what you were doing.

R's Rue said...


Lowcarb team member said...

You've shared great close-up photographs of your ringed birds, they are lovely.

All the best Jan

Angie said...

Phil - you couldn't chase me away from your blog! Glad to see you have some more success, and that the story with the treecreeper had a happy ending!

XmasDolly said...

How do you catch those beautiful birds? You do let them go after, right? They're so very pretty. I can only put birdseed out in front and hope they come get it. How do you get them to know there's food for them here? I put some in the two birdhouses I have not sure if they go in there. I put some in a bird bowl and they really mess things up! Anyway, have a great day and thanks for sharing!

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