Saturday, November 25, 2023

Down To Zero

After yet another windy week our one out of seven days a week of ringing turned out to be Saturday. Overnight Friday/Saturday the temperature gauge dived to 0° whereby the Fiat’s heated seat and windscreen proved worth their weight in gold. 

I met Will at 0730 up at Oakenclough and where as I arrived he was already on with the mist nets. The sun stayed hidden behind the horizon as winter gloves made their first appearance. 

A quiet session ensued, highlighted by singles of Redwing and Lesser Redpoll included in our meagre catch of just 13 birds – 4 Chaffinch, 3 Robin and singles of Blackbird, Redwing, Lesser Redpoll, Coal Tit, Wren, and Blue Tit. 



Lesser Redpoll


More frustration followed by our failure to catch birds that we saw but which avoided our nets completely, e.g. Crossbill, Bullfinch, Siskin and Sparrowhawk. 

Loxia curvirostra, the Red Crossbill (North America) or Common Crossbill (Europe) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. Crossbills have distinctive mandibles, crossed at the tips, an adaptation enables them to extract seeds from conifer cones and other fruits. Adults are often brightly coloured, with red or orange males and green or yellow females, but there is wide variation in beak size and shape, and call types, leading to different classifications of variants, some of which have been named as subspecies.


Two parties of Crossbills, a gang of five then a larger party of 7 or 8 made their way and calling overhead as we watched a number drop into the area of a mist net. 

We failed to catch any but as the breeding season for Crossbills approaches we hope that some will stick around for the next several weeks. Common Crossbills nest very early in the year in English pine plantations, hatching their chicks in February and March to take advantage of the new crop of pine cones. 

Linking today to Eileen's Weekend.

Back soon with more pics, news and photos. Stay cool but stay warm and come back to Another Bird Blog on another day.


eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,
I am a wimp when it comes to birding on a cold winter morning.
I usually wait for the day to warm up some, then it is too late for seeing birds. Beautiful variety of birds were caught, the Redpoll is a favorite.
I also like the Crossbills, I have not seen one in years.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's cooler here...but not that cold! Love those Crossbills! Hope you have a better day for ringing soon. We went on a long hike this week but didn't see a lot of different birds...mostly Warblers. Take care!

RedPat said...

I always love seeing what birds you have found. I love the Redpoll.

Adam Jones said...

It must be frustrating Phil, to hear and see the birds but not get them in the nets. Fingers crossed that numbers increase next time. I love the Crossbill, which reminds me that I need to visit my local forest to catch up with them again this year.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil :=)

Lovely bird photos and captures, but I hope you have better luck next time. It's disappointing to brave the cold weather, and get poor ringing results. Thanks for sharing the video Phil.
All the best

Wally Jones said...

We share your frustration, albeit on a smaller scale. There are plenty of migratory birds feeding in the treetops but none have shown an interest in being immortalized in superb digital imagery. Go figure.

On a positive note, we have been out and about in the fresh air and some resident birds have taken pity and sat still for a portrait. "Great Blue Heron Photo Number 4,325." Sigh.

Although we are not down to zero yet, a cold front is moving through as I type and we should begin tomorrow at around 7 C (45 F). We're looking forward to "crispy" air. As long as it only lasts a day or two.

Gini and I are reasonably well and cannot believe this week's calendar has no medical appointment penciled in. Not sure what to do with ourselves. No worries. We'll think of something.

Fingers crossed your weather and netting results take a turn for the better.

Lowcarb team member said...

The weather has certainly turned cooler.
Full marks for getting up early... your photographs are lovely to see.

All the best Jan

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