Thursday, November 26, 2020

Nature Calls

Three a.m. and nature called. Later life has so many advantages but one or two drawbacks. With the alarm set for 0520 thoughts turned to the ringing session ahead and I knew that sleep would not return. At 0500 I switched the alarm off but took great care not to wake Sleeping Beauty. 

Closer to destination Oakenclough interminable Long Lane rose to 700 above sea level as the black morning turned suddenly to gloomy hill mist and low cloud. Not exactly what the ringer ordered; Andy and I had missed another two and a half weeks of ringing due to unremitting wind and rain sweeping in from The Atlantic. 

Our last visit had been on  6 November 2020.  Nevertheless it felt good to be out again and where if the ringing was quiet, we could for sure put the world to rights via a cup of coffee, a natter and a few choice words. 

The mist cleared, reappeared and then cleared again with barely a hint of the promised sun. What a strange sort of morning with few birds on the move save for a couple of flocks of Redwings, separate groups of fifteen and a forty, plus a few stragglers. Otherwise, 15-20 Chaffinch, a Kestrel gliding through the mist and the usual suspects at George’s bird feeders 30 yards away. 

Just 10 birds caught - 3 Goldfinch, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit and 2 Redwing. You can bet things are pretty quiet when a ringer posts a Blue Tit. 

Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Redwing - Turdus iliacus
Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus

Unlike recent weeks the weather looks fairly settled for a day or two so there may be chance to get some ringing and/or birding in. For tomorrow we have planned a visit to the Linnet catching site of recent years at Gulf Lane, Cockerham. We hope to clear an area of the now defunct crop to instead establish a whoosh netting area and bait it with a rape seed, niger and millet mix. 

So far this autumn and winter there is no sign of a Linnet flock and despite a number of drop-in visits, the site has very few birds. Regular readers of this blog will know of our successes in previous years by  establishing that many of the wintering Linnets in our local area originate from Scotland. Our total is 741 Linnet captures from 2016 to 2020. 

Linnets - Carduelis cannabina

Colder temperatures in January, February and March 2021 may see an influx of such individuals again and open up the possibility of catching other species like Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Skylark and Stonechat. 

We don’t succumb so easily to quiet days; they are part and parcel of a day in the great outdoors. What would we do otherwise? Watch daytime TV for a daily dose of brainwashing? 

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



Rhodesia said...

I am finding fewer birds out and around on the windy colder days we have been having, though the feeder is, of course, full of the usual birds. We are never short of Blue Tits!! Not sure what has happened to the Goldfinches they have deserted us, though I saw a couple out walking the other day. Also seen another couple of surprises but I am sure nothing rare.
Have a good weekend, and stay safe, Diane

jp@A Green Ridge said...

As if you didn't know, I'm more outside than choice not necessity, although it's been easy for me to adapt with all this "fungus among us."

Wally Jones said...

Daytime television?!?! Perish the thought!

Getting out, whether or not birds are observed or ringed is still far preferable to remaining in. Always.

We hope your weather continues to improve and that colder days will bring larger numbers of visitors, perhaps even a few dozen Linnets.

Thank you for sharing images of your net results. Beautiful birds, all!

Gini and I hope the weekend brings you good things!

Mike Attwood said...

I too have urgent calls during the night and it is not owls. All birds are still hard to come by in my neck of the woods so seeing other successes keeps me going. Stay safe Phil.

eileeninmd said...


It may have been a quiet day for ringing but it is still nice to get outdoors. Your catch for the morning are a pretty bunch. I love the beautiful Goldfinch, Redwing and the Blue Tit. Good luck on the Linnets and your next outing. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

Martha said...

Absolutely gorgeous captures!

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Very nice pics of the different birds. I especially love seeing your finch pic, it's so different that the goldfinch in the US. Thanks for sharing.

Rain said...

Hi Phil :) No daytime tv!!! :) I love the photo of that goldfinch, and the look he's giving you, that's so cool! By the way, just wanted to let you know, I carry pepper spray and I'm confident the perv won't be bothering me after seeing Alex. We haven't seen him in 4 days now, let's hope it stays that way!

Adam Jones said...

Tough times recently for the bird ringers. Glad you managed to get a few in the nets. A nice lot of Linnets there too.

Lowcarb team member said...

Daytime TV!!!
No thank you.

The Goldfinch is beautiful, fabulous colours.

All the best Jan

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