Saturday, November 6, 2021

Making It Count

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count” - a quote from the greatest boxer of all time Muhammad Ali. 

On that basis I rose at the unearthly hour of 0530 on Friday to meet up with Andy out Pilling way to once again set up mist nets in the half-light of 3° where cold fingers fought to stay warm.  With no time for chitchat our priority was to set nets in readiness for early birds in search of a worm or two, hopefully Redwings. As the morning progressed we expected to add more species and numbers. 

Although we have both seen and caught numbers of Redwings this autumn, the strange weather of the last three weeks has seen very few Fieldfares to accompany their cousins. The two thrushes often arrive together in mixed flocks of tens, dozens, hundreds or even thousands, but not this year. Perhaps Friday would see both arrive as dawn broke or soon after? 

There were no Fieldfares again so we made do with three Redwings that found the net in the dark. Those were the only ones we caught out of 40+ that flew over in tiny groups in three hours and more. 

The morning continued with a light drizzle out of the 100% grey cloud and poor visibility, murk that hung around for quite a while and prevented us from any useful birding. The light was so poor that my camera stayed in the car, these pictures from previous days.

The most notable thing about Friday morning was how the highly mobile Linnets reached approximately 200/250 individuals, a number reflected in our catch of 21. This brings the total of Linnets ringed here this autumn/winter period to 192 - with zero recaptures. If only we could persuade more NW ringers to target Linnets we might together discover more about this Red Listed species. 

New birds caught: 21 Linnet, 3 Redwing, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Wren, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Reed Bunting. 




Reed Bunting

News arrived of a Lesser Redpoll, Ring number AKE3924, a second year female we ringed up at Oakenclough back on 19 March 2020. 

AKE3924 was recaptured over the Pennine Hills by other ringers in Spennithorne, North Yorkshire on 20 October 2021, a duration of 586 days and a distance of 73 km. 

This is another between years Lesser Redpoll recovery that tells us little except that both dates coincide with known migration times of Lesser Redpolls and also their north/south and south/north movements in spring/autumn. 

Lesser Redpoll - Oakenclough, Lancashire - Spennithorne, Yorkshire

Lesser Redpoll

We live to ring another day but probably not this weekend when the weather again turns unfriendly. 

The whole of next week looks reasonable in which to make our bird ringing and bird observations contribute to the wider picture. Log in then to Another Bird Blog to see how we do.



Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful birds, holding them is an art, thanks Phil.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Interesting information about the Lesser Redpoll. Great images Phil.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

Beautiful birds, beautiful shots and interesting info Phil. Great post, thanks.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I like that quote! How wonderful to see these beautiful birds perched on your hand. Early morning seems to be the best time to observe many birds.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

it sounds like a dismal morning to work netting birds - I think you're lucky to tag those you did

NCSue said...

I shake my head in wonder every time I see your birding activities. I can't imagine capturing a bird. The only time we've done so is after a baby fell from the nest or a bird struck the window.
Thanks for sharing at

Wally Jones said...

Once again, thank you for your dedication! Many (okay, most) would not have even ventured afield on morning such as you describe.

The Linnet numbers sound good to me, but I am ignorant of what "good numbers" actually would be. The Redpoll's travels are interesting and curiosity about such movements is what motivates all of us "citizen scientists" to try and help record data.

Prognosticators to the contrary, we hope the weather cooperates for an outstanding new week!

Lowcarb team member said...

I like the quote, but goodness me 5.30am !!!

A very nice selection of photographs, I do like the little reed bunting.

Hope your week is going well.

All the best Jan

Rhodesia said...

Great photos and I love seeing the birds in close up. many I know I will never get to see in real life.

I am far behind with blogging. Hopefully I will get time soon to go through all my October and November photos!!!

Keep well. Diane

Veronica Lee said...

Love the close-ups of the birds, Phil.

It's so amazing to see these beautiful birds perched on your hand.

Related Posts with Thumbnails