Saturday, 6 March 2010

First One

This morning was our first ringing session at 'Rossall Bird Observatory', aka Rossall School! It was calm and mild as Craig, Ian and me arrived at 0615. Four nets were put up in anticipation and for an early March morning we didn't do too bad.

We ringed 21 birds and retrapped three as follows (new/retraps):

Dunnock - 6/1
Robin - 3/1
Blue Tit - 2/1
Meadow Pipit - 1/0
Blackbird - 1/0
Wren - 1/0
Greenfinch - 5/0
Song Thrush - 1/0

The Wren that we ringed was very confiding after we had ringed and attempted to release it. Occasionally birds will pause on your hand momentarily before flying off to get their bearings. This bird remained in my hand and started to have a good preen. It was lifting its wings and preening under-wing coverts, turning round and preening upper-tail coverts and then hopped up my arm, perched on my shoulder, looked round and flew off. Fabulous! Ian took some shots and if they're any good I'll post them on here later.



There were three migrant Stonechats (2 males and a female) around this morning and we attempt to catch them by using a play-back lure. The two males were very interested, but as soon as I saw one of them perched on top of a mist net pole I knew there was no hope of catching any of them! We observed some interesting behaviour by the two male Stonechats. Both males were catching large invertebrates (larvae?) and flying towards where the female was, presumably to present her with a gift to try and get her to pair up with 'him'.

Meadow Pipit

There were a few birds on 'vis' this morning with the following totals all going north:

Grey Wagtail - 1
Pied Wagtail - 3
Goldfinch - 7
Reed Bunting - 1
Tree Sparrow - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Siskin - 30
Meadow Pipit - 4

There was probably quite a few more than this, but when you're busy ringing it's hard to keep your eyes on the skies as well. An excellent mornings spring migration monitoring was finished off by some absolutely stonking views of a Barn Owl hunting along the ditches and the rough areas of grassland. It then drew the attention of some Herring Gulls and one individual gave it some stick for a good few minutes. It'll be interesting to see what we get tomorrow.


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