Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Those Linnets Again

It was Wednesday of last week the 29th of September when we arrived back in England following two weeks in sunny Greece. Since then it’s rained every day, sometimes very heavy and unpleasant, so there’s been no opportunity for birding or ringing, until today. 

The forecast for this morning looked OK and suggested a slightly blowy start at 10-15 mph but quickly dropping to 5 mph by 10am. For once the prediction was spot on and I had a really interesting ringing session. 

Once again the main target was Linnets with the intention of adding to knowledge about the movements of Linnets between here (Pilling Marsh the location for DemOn database) and the Northern Isles, a recently discovered phenomenon between us and the Scottish Ringers. The recently published Scottish Ringers Roundup featured several movements between the North West England and the far north of Scotland. 

Scottish Ringers Roundup
I added another 13 Linnets to make the total caught here this autumn into a nice round 111, with zero recaptures, hence birds on the move. As well as the Linnets I caught 2 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Blue Tits and a single Robin. 

Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit

Flocks of Linnets came and went during my four hour watch. My best estimate was 200/240 individuals but with mobile Linnets always difficult to be precise. 

Such a lot of Linnets in the air attracted in a number of predators with a Merlin, two Sparrowhawk and a male Peregrine all having a dash at a meal. It was as I sat unseen in the lee of the car that overhead I heard the rush of Peregrine wings in pursuit of a Linnet. The Peregrine was incredibly close and gave tremendous views for several seconds before it flew out towards the marsh.    

As the morning sun warmed up a good number of flies found the metal of my car a good place to warm their bodies. 

Sunbathing flies

There’s more ringing planned for Thursday. Let’s hope the weather holds. 

Linking this weekend to Eileen's Blogspot and Anni in Texas.


The Padre said...

Sunbathing Flies, Brilliant


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Well that's a new one Phil - sun bathing flies!!! That was a LOT of Linnets in the air and great shot of the Peregrine. Take care and have a good week ahead.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil, :=) . I'm so sorry your weather has been foul. In all my life, I have only ever seen one Linnet! Your autumn count was very good. Why do some birds like colder climates I wonder? Great capture of the Peregrine, and our garden friends.
Have a good weekend.

eileeninmd said...


Beautiful birds Phil! The Robin and Peregrine are my favorites. That is a lot of flies on your car, I hope they do not get inside. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

Angie said...

Phil - glad the weather broke and you were able to squeeze in some birding. Super shot of the peregrine! I am counting on you to make sure that the weather is good between October 23 and November 5, when we will be in the Northeast, visiting my in-laws!

Lowcarb team member said...

That's quite a few sunbathing flies ...

Lovely photographs, the robin is my favourite.

All the best Jan

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The Peregrine is beautiful! The flies...kind of creepy but everyone loves some sunshine! Have a good week.

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