Thursday, September 9, 2021

Double Jobbed

I was out ringing on Tuesday morning but an urgent phone call sent me scurrying back home with just 5 birds ringed. 

The morning began with a blanket of mist. Brightness above the grey indicated the sun would quickly break through. The yellow blob cleared the mist in no time and a look in the nearest net showed a Chiffchaff and a male Blackcap side by side. 

This excellent start continued with 3 more Linnets from a flock in the bright blue that quickly built to upwards of 150 Linnets with ten or more hangers on in the shape of Goldfinches. This was looking good. With 48 Linnets in the bag so far this autumn (42 first years and 6 adults), a half century was certain. A few other birds enlivened proceedings, the best of those being a double whammy of two Great Egrets and a male Sparrowhawk. 

And then the phone calls. The local Post Office had mislaid the packet of Euro currency ordered for our Greek holiday and I needed to retrieve paperwork from back home. After a swear word or three nets were stashed away and off I went.  Fortunately everything turned out OK when our Euros were found in the main office where an unnamed operative had stored the package for “safe keeping”. 

Fast forward to Thursday when the Doom & Gloom Forecast said “rain”, but I was not convinced so set off towards Cockerham village. At 0600 there was a light shower followed by much brighter skies and a very decent morning of zero wind. The mobile was switched to “off” and I switched on to where I left off on Tuesday. 

The Linnet flock was now more than 200 strong plus smaller groups and singles that became attached and then broke off, behaviour which makes for counting difficulties. The counting was even harder when Sparrowhawks appeared, tried to grab a Linnet and scattered the flock in several directions. Definitely two Sparrowhawks today, a female and then a noticeably smaller and more agile male, both of which came in low and fast in the element of surprise, but neither connected with a meal.


The overall number of Linnets in the area must have improved the catch with 19 new ones today. There was another Chiffchaff, this one a male with a wing length of 64mm compared to Tuesday’s 56mm female. At this time of the year wing length is the only way to sex a Chiffchaff unless a wing measurement falls half way between the two extremes when the bird becomes of unknown sex. 

Other birds today - Buzzard, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 20+ Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 3 Stock Dove, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret.

Back soon on Another Bird Blog. Don't go away.

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



Angie said...

Phil - glad all worked out with the currency emergency, and that the birds cooperated by returning to the site! Lovely photos!

Wally Jones said...

I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't fully believe the weather prognosticators.

With an unexpected delay, you eventually had a good ringing session it seems. I empathize with trying to count a flock of birds with a sudden raptor interruption. They could at least be polite enough to let us finish a count!

Sorry about the money mix-up but very glad to hear it was favorably resolved.

As Bill The Bard would say: "All's Well That Ends Well".

Gini and I are off to house-sit for daughter. Birding will not be involved. Sigh.

eileeninmd said...


I am glad your package was found, your day turned out nice. Great captures of the Linnets. The Blackcap and Chiffchaff are beautiful. Love the Sparrowhawk in flight. Great collection of birds and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm glad they found your's always something! Love seeing those Sparrowhawks SOAR! Have a good weekend! Hope the weather is nice..if it is, I'll stop by and we can go in my Jeep. I'll let you drive! lol

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil,
It does take me a while to visit everyone, and I don't always make it. Great post as usual with lots of lovely photos. So glad you eventually got your post.
Best Regards from Portugal.

Lowcarb team member said...

You could have done without that phone call!
But pleased your package of Euro's were found.

So enjoyable seeing your photographs of all of these birds.

Not sure when you are off, but have a good holiday.

All the best Jan

Linda said...

Watch out, little linnets!

Anni said...

I'd be saying a few more swear words before I made it home!! Happy to read it turned out tho. The number of birds was great!! And as always, excellent photos

Visiting here with you and finding what feathered friends you see is always a great experience! Thanks for linking in with us at I'd Rather B Birdin'!

Mike Attwood said...

Glad you sorted out the problem with the PO it certainly allows you to concentrate on the more important things in life. Take care.

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