Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Starting Afresh

This last two or three weeks was possibly the worst cycle of rain & wind weather systems I have experienced in my years of being a birder, bird ringer and weather watcher. 

Every day became a “no go” until a brief respite on Tuesday took me to our Pilling ringing site to assess the damage. Fortunately things were not as bad as feared once the still flooded track was negotiated by avoiding soft spots where the car might sink. Puddled net rides might dry out overnight given their open situation, while ropes left in situ were still visible if soaked and wind-blown wayward. 

By a miracle and in the few hours of dry with glimpses of sun, it seemed a few birds had returned or perhaps never left; alongside the fence flew three Stonechats and in the trees Reed Buntings, Linnets, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and Redwings. A Buzzard mewed in protest as crows gave chase and Skylarks flitted overhead. 

On the pool with ducks a single Gadwall faked being a Mallard and then drifted out of sight. I dreamt I heard a Water Rail. 


All was well for new a beginning on Wednesday, perhaps Thursday, and even Friday. 

“Now then Mr Slade don’t get carried away. It can't last”, came the weatherman’s voice. 

I arranged to meet Andy at 0645, a new time now that clocks are also back to a normal winter.  

We rather hoped the Stonechats might be around to spice up the morning but there was no sign of any Stonechats, just the expected species list dominated by approximately 120 Linnets in several small parties that came and went through our four hours. The Stonechats were a “one day wonder” and almost certainly moved on during the overnight clear skies of Tuesday/Wednesday. 

We caught 21 new birds – 7 Long-tailed Tit, 5 Linnet, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Blue Tit and yet another Chiffchaff. 





Long-tailed Tit
Birds noted in between our ringing, mostly approximate numbers: 120+ Linnet, 25 Greenfinch, 18 Redwing, 4 Skylark, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 10 Little Egret, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk. 

The forecast is OK for tomorrow, maybe even better by way of less of a breeze and more sun. We arranged to meet up again for another go. 

What's that saying? Make hay etc, etc. 

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



Wally Jones said...

Happy to hear the car didn't sink as arranging a rescue party from over here might take some time and by then you surely would have run out of coffee. A true disaster!

Reading your destruction description, I didn't expect actual ringing to even take place, much less seeing such good results. (To be honest, I have no clue what "good" ringing results look like. But 21 new birds sounds "good".)

Total sightings also sound respectable, to me. All that, and a Gadwall!

Hoping to read about all the hay you make in the near future.

Gini and I are having fun and wish you well!

The Padre said...

Rise On There Sunshine - Quite The Personality On That There Chiffchaff - Happy November Brother


Mike Attwood said...

Another fine selection Phil. Take care.

eileeninmd said...


I am glad you had a chance to get out, with a break in the rain and wind.
Your birds and photos are all wonderful. The Stonechat is a beauty! Take care, enjoy your day!

Jenn Jilks said...

They are so beautiful!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil,:=) I'm so pleased you managed to get outdoors with no mishaps. All your bird captures are beautiful.The Stonechat is one of my favourite birds, however I have only seen them in the south of Portugal. It is not unusual to see Gadwells with Mallards. It's something I have seen on other blogs, not witnessed myself.

I hope the weather stays dry for you!.

Angie said...

Phil - the last four days in Yorkshire/County Durham have been spectacular compared to the preceding days. Cool, but blue skies. We made the most of it by spending most of it outdoors. I did my best to stop and look at birds I saw along the way, but without my binoculars, it was a tough go. I am certain that I saw several varieties of Tits, and numerous Robins. I like them so much more than the American Robin!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,

Gorgeous collection of birds and photos. The Long-tailed Tit is a cutie, but I love them all. I hope your weather has been great and perfect for you to get out there, birding and banding. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, have a great weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It really is the time of year when you have to take advantage of the good days to get out. We are having a rainy weekend so I can get all my inside work done...well, I could if I would! lol Love seeing the birds YOU see! Happy weekend!

Shiju Sugunan said...

We have same kind of weather here, not at all conducive for birding. Beautiful closeups of the birds.

My latest post:

Anni said...

Let me finish it for you ..."while the sun shines". At least I think that's s how it goes.

Impressive birds, such a great number of species. I've been watching TS Wanda in the Atlantic. Is this the storm system bringing all the wet?!?!!

Thank you for stopping by to add your link from here for all of us at IRBB.

Lowcarb team member said...

Yes, the weather up your way has not been good ...
I always enjoy seeing the bird photographs you share, I think my favourite here is the long-tailed tit.

All the best Jan

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