Sunday, March 21, 2021

A March Morning

Saturday morning and Union Lane was closed yet again for repairs to the road that crosses Stalmine and Pilling Moss. Through years of neglect too many of our local roads are in constant danger of sinking into the quaggy mires of Lancashire, turn of the century circa 1900. I turned the car around and took a detour through Pilling village and hoped to be on time. 

Turn Around
On the journey to Oakenclough I caught up with Andy's car at a road junction. It was 0600 and we both arrived bang on the agreed time for another ringing session. There was zero wind with overcast but brightening skies and a sense of Spring optimism in the air. 

Our ringing was slow and steady, as it was on On Wednesday Last.  

At first it was extremely slow but picked up slightly as a colder front bearing rain approached from the west. Perhaps the few extra birds that arrived, including Meadow Pipits, had travelled ahead of the boundary of relative warm and hit the westerly chill? Suddenly, we stopped catching anything and called it a day. 

We finished with a mix of 8 species and an average March catch of 22 birds - 9 Coal Tit, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Siskin and 1 Lesser Redpoll. 

We caught the first Lesser Redpoll and Siskin of  Spring 2021, both bright males. 

Lesser Redpoll
It's unusual that Coal Tit is the most captured bird in a single session. Our 9 Coal Tits contained a couple of our own recaptures and also a “subsequent” from elsewhere that carried another ringer's ring. We suspect that Coal Tit ALK0174 had not travelled too far but had certainly joined up with other Coal Tits when six were in a net together. 

Coal Tit

All five Meadow Pipits were on the large side with wing lengths of 81mm or above that put them in the “male” bracket. 

Meadow Pipit


The Treecreeper found an unusual companion when it was in a net alongside a Lesser Redpoll.

Stay tuned folks, more birds and news soon.



Rhodesia said...

I see the Siskins are around here though I haven't seen any in our garden. Sounds to me like a reasonable catch.

Closed roads are a nightmare but you obviously know your way around. We had an appointment the other day on the other side of Angouleme (40 min drive) only to find one section was totally closed off Typical France the sign is there saying detour with an arrow and that is it - no more directions from there on!!! Luckily we left early and fought off the TomTom saying 'turn around when possible' to just make our appointment with a minute to spare!

Take care and have a good week, Diane

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil,:=) Glad you made it!:=) I don't expect you get many Tree Creepers in your net, at least I have never seen one on your blog before.

I see Siskins on the farm, not lately, but they will be there,as in other years, but haven't seen the Lesser Redpoll or the Meadow Pipit, so it's nice to get a close look at your images of them. The other birds I see regularly in the garden especially the Coal Tit, which I read you caught quite a few of, 6 in one net, seems like a good catch to me. Your Owl header is beautiful.:=)

Mike Attwood said...

Hi Phil,
Your post seems to be full of birds that I only dream about. I am investigating the reasons why birds have disappeared from my village, in the meantime keep posting your birds so I can enjoy them. Stay safe.

NCSue said...

I wonder if chaffinches are related to some of our (US) finches?
Thanks so much for sharing at

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

We have a few similar issues with roads here from time to time because of subsidence from old coal mines years ago.

Lowcarb team member said...

Pleased you made it through.
So lovely to see these birds, your photographs show them so well.

All the best Jan

Veronica Lee said...

Such gorgeous birds! I especially love the Siskin!

Were it not for your blog, I would never have known such beautiful birds existed!

Happy Tuesday, Phil!

Himawan Sant said...

I am amazed also amazed to see these tame birds in your hands ..., what a memorable experience.
The photos are beautiful.

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