Thursday, September 10, 2020

More Mipits

The mornings are dark and alarm calls getting later. The buzzer woke me at 0530, enough time for the essentials before a timed to perfection drive over switchback moss roads and up to Oakenclough. That’s thirty minutes early morning and forty minutes on the way now that road traffic is back to pre-virus levels.  

I met up with Andy at 0630 to a dry, mostly cloudy and virtually wind-free start. This was looking good. We gave the hatchbacks a miss and set up the ringing station at a table thinking that there would be more room to work if the morning proved busy. And a space for coffee flasks.

Ringing Station.
Small parties of Swallows were on the move from very first light. When we finished ringing at 1130 we’d counted approximately 125 Swallows, 30 House Martins and 15 Sand Martins all of them heading east and south. Otherwise there was very little visible or obvious migration and we were left wondering from which direction the Meadow Pipits and most other species arrived. Mostly and from our viewpoint we see birds arrive overhead from a northerly direction and where on clear days we can see Morecambe Bay, Lancaster City and other landmarks 

We totalled 52 birds of 11 species: with autumn birds with the above mentioned pipits, Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs to the fore: 17 Meadow Pipit, 9 Goldcrest, 7 Coal Tit, 7 Blue Tit, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap ,2 Great Tit, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Treecreeper. 

Meadow Pipits breed in the surrounding hills, dozens if not hundreds of pairs, but the ones we catch during the prime migration period of September are from further afield; they probably originate from the North Pennines, Scotland and the Northern Isles. 

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Willow Warbler numbers have dried up but replaced today by five Chiffchaffs.

Willow Warbler

We caught more Blue, Great and Coal Tits than we normally do so a Treecreeper did not surprise us.  Treecreepers often latch onto and travel with groups of titmice because all four species eat much the same foods.  

We continue to catch Blackcaps and should do so but in lesser numbers into October. 

Lesser Redpolls continue to be scarce, just as they were in spring 2020 and the autumn of 2019. The one today and on close inspection, proved to be a first autumn female. 

Lesser Redpoll
Other birds today – 1 Kestrel, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch, 100+ Teal, 1 Buzzard. 

There’s more soon from Another Bird Blog . Stay tuned.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blogspot and Anni in Texas.



Mike Attwood said...

Hi Phil,
You get more in a morning than I get in a year. Still keep it, up we need your sort to keep an eye on things. Stay safe, Mike.

italiafinlandia said...

Only small little cuties in this post.
I took some good shots of a Treecreeper too, last year.

The Padre said...

Sensationally Displayed Here - Happy Friday Brother Man


Anu said...

Hello. Wonderful work.
Why the number of Lesser redpoll is decreasing?
Have a great weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil
It is wonderful to see these beautiful birds up close, your photos are lovely. I think the first Meadow Pipit and the Treecreeper are favorites today. But, they are all lovely. Take care and stay safe. Thank you for linking up your post. Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend.

Martha@SeasideSimplicity said...

They are all so adorable!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You had some good sightings and got a lot done too. It really is a treat for us to see these birds up close...mostly birds we don't see here. Have a good weekend!

Elkes Lebensglück said...

what beautiful birds are dfa and you have been counting diligently!
Have a good weekend, Elke

Joyful said...

Fantastic photos.

Anni said...

Excellent numbers in my opinion. And of course the photos are super...reading your narration is also something I continually enjoy & look forward to each week. The female L Redpoll is a beauty!
Thanks for linking in at IRBB this weekend.

Stevenson Q said...

52 birds my dear friend Phil! That is a lot for a day, very nice sure it was! These cuties sure know how to pose for the camera! Sending hugs from the Philippines and greetings of a happy new week!

Rhodesia said...

How I hate short days and winter but...... Love these photos wish I could see a treecreeper here! The Little Owl ae very vocal but I am not seeing them much, just glad though to know they are around.
Sorry I am behind with visits but the kitchen here has been working in overtime. So much in the garden. Take care, Diane

Jean said...

Sounds like a good (and early!) morning! Cute little birds, all of them. Hope you have a great new week!

NCSue said...

Is the chiffchaff so named because of its call? It's rather a fun name!
Thanks for sharing at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

your photos always make the birds seem right next to me - wondrful post today

Fun60 said...

A good catch today but it is the variety I like to hear about and admire your fabulous photos.

Stevenson Q said...

My dear friend Phil, not sure if you'll get to read this or you're already in the sunny isles of Greece! Just wanted to say thank you so much for your heart warming comments on my latest interview with my friend Kat and I wish you all the est and please take care on your trip to Greece! That place is such a dream for me especially when I saw Mamma Mia the Movie :)

Wally Jones said...

I'm still trying to come to grips with the fact that September is half gone. The birds, who don't care what I think, are beginning to filter through in greater numbers in the past few days. It seems you're having the same experience.

The "snapshots" you take with your ringing efforts must certainly provide invaluable clues for researchers to determine trends in populations and potential effects, natural and otherwise, on the health of many species. Kudos for your dedication.

All is wonderful here in the land of humidity! Another hurricane has bypassed us but did provide an extra foot of rain.

Birding, like life, is good!

Gini and I hope you are soon off to Greece, sun and fun!

Angie said...

Phil - congratulations on a successful session! I love the second photo of the Meadow Pipit - head on into the camera! You know it's going to be a good day when there's room for the coffee flasks!

Veronica Lee said...

I just love to see these adorable birdies up close, Phil!

Happy Wednesday!

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely photograph, such a cute selection.

All the best Jan

Related Posts with Thumbnails