Saturday, May 28, 2022

No Page Threes

The last ten days proved very frustrating. Since returning from Greece in the early hours of 18 May, I’ve not been able to get out ringing or do any meaningful birding. 

Skiathos, Greece - May Days 

My return to a typically British summer of wind and rain meant that gardening and other chores took priority. There’s one thing to say in favour of the good old British climate - it certainly makes things grow, as testified by our green waste bin now bursting to overspill with clippings of grass, trees and hedgerow. 

At last, I’m free so on Saturday I met up with Andy at Oakenclough at 0600 and a promised sunny morning with less than 10mph wind and the customary cold northerlies. 

As I drove on site a buck Roe Deer leapt over the wire fence ahead and disappeared into woodland. I searched in the boot for hat and warm jacket in readiness for the display of 6°, unlike the 27° of recent Skiathos. 

There were Willow Warblers and Garden Warblers in song, a foretaste of that to follow as we caught with good variety, unspectacular numbers but thankfully not a single one of the customary titmice. In fact throughout the morning, a single Coal Tit was the only representative of the tribe. 

14 birds caught – 5 Willow Warber, 2 Chiffchaff and one each of Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Pied Wagtail, Robin and Dunnock. 

The adult male Bullfinch was a stunner.  


Both the Blackcap and the Garden Warbler proved to be adult female with full brood patch, the Pied Wagtail a second year male. 

Pied Wagtail

Garden Warbler


The young Dunnock an example of how soon young birds are able to leave the nest and become at least partly self-sufficient when upon release it flew strongly into the trees from whence it came. 


We caught adult Willow Warblers only with no examples of recently fledged ones. The cold weather of May has slowed the species’ breeding season with the emergence of young a week or more away. 

Willow Warbler

Birding was quiet because migration is more or less over apart from late stragglers that often surprise. Several families of Greylag, 6 Oystercatcher, 2 Lapwing, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Mistle Thrush, 4 Swallows, 4 Garden Warblers, 12+ Willow Warblers. 


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


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

There's always so much to do when you get back from a vacation. But I'm glad you got out for some birding. It's amazing to see the variety of birds you see there. And you get some great close ups! Happy weekend!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,
Awesome variety of birds and photos. I love the beautiful Bullfinch, they are all lovely birds. I am glad your weather cooperated with your outing. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

Debbie said...

really beautiful birds...i always find it so interesting to see people holding wild birds. here's hoping your return to birding is better for you!! lucky you to have visited greece!!

Linda said...

Beautiful birds! Stay well.

Anni said...

The graylag family, the bullfinch and wagtail are favorites today. The Greek scene too!!! We are having a quiet spell too when it comes to seeing birds. But, as you, we are getting some yard work done

Have a terrific week ahead, and thanks for sharing your link. Happy birding!

NCSue said...

The bullfinch is my personal favorite. He's a colorful fellow. We don't have them here so thank you for sharing him at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

never heard of Graylags before but they look like geese.

Mike Attwood said...

Nice post Phil, well up to your usual standard. Its good for oldies like me to see a bit of colour and chat. Take care,

Wally Jones said...

We are relieved on two counts.

You have returned to birding and ringing!

You postponed the return to birding and ringing until necessary chores were completed!

A testament to hard work and responsibility. I feel guilty, as I don't think I could have resisted going afield prior to all the work.

Although the numbers are lower as migration is pretty much complete, you managed a diverse collection. The crowd favorite appears to be the Bullfinch. Who am I to argue? Stunning.

We are almost into our summer "wet season" weather pattern. A few thunderstorms rolling through in the afternoons. So, out early is the plan.

Gini and I are glad you and Sue were able to visit sunny Skiathos and I know you're already looking forward to the next trip.

Rostrose said...

Dear Phil,
the days after your vacation in Greece were exactly the days I spent on Mallorca. Incidentally, I would have needed a bird expert there, because my husband and I were taking pictures in a bird sanctuary. And of course I don't know all the birds I've photographed. I still have to research the net, let's see what I can find out. Your "net prey" has been great again, and I'm always amazed at how similar some bird species look - Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler... - I couldn't tell them apart...
All the best,
Have a good start into June!

Lowcarb team member said...

There is always so much to do when you return from holiday it often makes you feel you could do with another break away :)

Lovely photographs, I especially like the Greylags.

All the best Jan

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