Monday, 27 September 2010

A Quiet Monday

It was Rossall for Ian and I again this morning and we arrived at 6.30 a.m. to put the usual nets up. At first light there was full cloud cover, although it had been clear overnight, and the wind was quite a brisk easterly. This meant that only 2 out of the 4 nets were relatively sheltered.

It was very quiet and we only managed to trap 8 new birds and 1 retrap as follows:

Blackbird - 2/0
Blue Tit - 1/0
Dunnock - 1/0
Great Tit - 1/0
Goldfinch - 1/0
Greenfinch - 2/0
Wren - 0/1

 Great Tit

 Blue Tit



Visible migration was very slow and all we had were 6 Grey Wagtails, 3 Meadow Pipits, 3 Greenfinch, Goldfinch, 8 Chaffinch, 53 jackdaws and 111 Pink-footed Geese.

We tried our best to catch the Grey Wagtails. They were interested in the MP3 but the net was a bit 'billowy' and consequently they were perching on the poles, on the top shelf string and not throwing themselves in the net! The only grounded  migrants were a few 'ticking' Robins and a female Stonechat.

In the afternoon I went to Rawcliffe Moss to put some food out at the feeding station. Tree Sparrows numbered 48 along with half a dozen Chaffinch. I did my usual walk along the '97' hedge, onto the 'top moss', round the plantation and back.

 The turbine at Dewlay Cheese, Garstang that dominates views 
east across rawcliffe Moss

The most numerous species by far was Skylark. They were doing that mysterious Skylark thing they do here where they are around in large numbers but you can't work out what they are doing and whether they are moving and if they are in what direction! I had 102 on my walk round and this included a flock of 48 and 37.

A single Corn Bunting went over calling and I had calling Great Spotted Woodpeckers from both Curlew and the 'L' Wood. Walking up to the plantation I had 8 Linnets go over and a couple of Reed Buntings called from the 97 hedge. About 85 Pink-footed Geese headed north, presumably moving between feeding areas.

 Pink-footed Geese

Raptors were represented by 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk. The Sparrowhawk was mobbed all the way across the moss by a single Carrion Crow. The Crow would give chase, diving at the Sparrowhawk, and the Sparrowhawk could easily out fly the Crow. It was like watching an aerial dog fight. The Crow would dive at the Sparrowhawk, the Sparrowhawk would pull up and the Crow would shoot past not being able to slow down enough. This went on for a couple of minutes until the Sparrowhawk obviously got fed up with it all and shot through some woodland to 'drop' the Carrion Crow!

There were good numbers of Finches and Tits in the plantation. The finches consisted of Chaffinch and Goldfinch, and the Tits, Blue, Great and at least 6 Coal Tits. I can only assume they were feeding on Birch and Alder catkins. A couple of Jays were also in the plantation and on my way back to the car I had 18 Stock Doves fly east.

Its back to the 'obs' tomorrow so I'll let you know how I get on.

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