Monday, 4 October 2010

Finch Fest with 'Shortie'

Ian and I were at Rossall again this morning and as we unlocked the gate to drive into the 'obs' we were unsure whether we would get any nets up as the wind was a 'good' 10 mph southeasterly. In the end we just put two nets up, totalling only 58 feet; the 'star' net and the 'Greenfinch' net. We didn't bother with the nets in the central hedgerow as it was far too windy.

Over the past two days the met office have been struggling to get the forecast right. Look at the rain we weren't supposed to get yesterday; it poured down until mid-afternoon! And today the winds were supposed to be half what they were. Mind you, I suppose it is easy to criticize.

Even though it looked a bit 'iffy' at the start we ended up having our best catch of the autumn so far at the obs. We trapped 60 new birds and controlled 2 as follows:

Wren - 2
Goldcrest - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Greenfinch - 38
Blackbird - 2
Goldfinch - 14
Coal Tit - 1
Blue Tit - 1


Both the Goldcrest and Coal Tit were new ringing records for the site. The two birds we controlled were Greenfinch - TK55726 and Chaffinch - L145712. If either of these birds are yours please let me know.

Vis was interesting this morning and there was a good selection of species trickling south as follows:

Meadow Pipit - 59
Goldfinch - 81
Redpoll sp. - 2
Alba Wagtail - 28
Greenfinch - 44
Reed Bunting - 8
Siskin - 5
Grey Wagtail - 3
Chaffinch - 19
Skylark - 11
Jackdaw - 67
Carrion Crow - 4
Mistle Thrush - 5
Sparrowhawk -3
Linnet - 45
Swallow - 11
Starling - 80
Rock Pipit - 1

At about 8.30 a.m. when Ian was away doing the 'school run' I was watching a few Mipits going over and noticed a larger long winged bird very high. I put my bins on it and it was a Short-eared Owl slowly heading south. It was exceedingly high, nothing more than a spec in the sky. As it headed south it was drifting west, presumably because of the easterly element in the wind, and it started to descend. As I watched it head towards the school buildings it had dropped out of my sight behind the sea wall. Cool!

There were no grounded migrants other than a few Dunnocks, Robins and the Coal Tit and Blackbirds that we ringed. A group of 150 Pink-footed Geese arrived from the north and dropped onto the farm fields to the east to feed.

Low pressure is dominating at the moment and the forecast is for strong southerly winds tomorrow with intermittent showers over night. The weather situation looks quite interesting from Thursday onwards with the possibility of an easterly airflow. Worth keeping an eye on. Birding for me tomorrow and as always I'll keep you posted.

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