Thursday, 9 October 2008

Tree Sparrow Fest., 9th October 2008

This morning we (that is some members of Fylde Ringing Group) went ringing on Rawcliffe Moss at our farmland bird feeding station. Phil and Will worked the plantation hoping to tape lure diurnal migrants and Craig and I worked the actual feeding station in the hope of a few Tree Sparrows and we weren't disappointed as it turned out to be a Tree Sparrow fest!

At first light I noticed, a little disconcertingly, that the Tree Sparrows were roosting in the Hawthorns next to the feed. I was concerned because I thought putting the nets up would flush them and they might not return for an hour or two, but how wrong can you be. Two nets were erected and when we did our first round the nets were bulging with Tree Sparrows. I only had 25 bird bags on me and these were soon filled. By the end of the morning we had ringed 27 Tree Sparrows, 15 Chaffinch and singles of Great Tit and Reed Bunting.

Tree Sparrow

Reed Bunting

Great Tit

Chaffinch - female

Phil and Will had all sorts of technical problems with their sound system and only managed to ring 5 or 6 birds.

It was obvious that a few birds were on the move this morning but it was difficult to concentrate on the ringing and keep an eye skyward for vis. My notebook read 40 Meadow Pipits south but this is a definite under-estimate. Likewise similar for 30 Chaffinch, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Redwings, 33 Skylarks and 2 Siskins.

Four Mistle Thrushes dropped in and they were very noisy and agitated perched on some telegraph wires and were very probably migrants as indicated by their behaviour. One of the features of the morning were the number of Snipe and we had 108 fly north along with a lone Whooper Swan. A few Pink-feet were around and raptors were represented by 2 Buzzards and a single kestrel.

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