Sunday, 17 October 2010

Quality and Quantity

We had a team of 5 out this morning at Rossall and nets were erected quickly in the half light. A mixed Thrush tape was put on and a few Redwings (25) and Fieldfares (8) were interested but we didn't manage to catch and ring any.

In total we processed 63 new birds as follows (retraps in brackets):

Blackbird - 3 (1)
Greenfinch - 54
Blue Tit - 2 (1)
Meadow Pipit - 1
Robin - 1
Coal Tit - 1
Great Tit - 1


Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit - adult. 
Note how fresh and evenly aged the greater and median coverts are, 
indicating an adult that has undergone a complete moult.  A juvenile would show a 
contrast between  new inner olive edged greater coverts and outer worn, 
unmoulted and 'bleached' greater coverts.

There were two species that we had on vis this morning that were of particular interest. The first species was Brambling, and it was the number of birds involved. In total during only the first hour of the morning we had 37 birds move south.

The other species, not normally associated with visible migration, was Long-tailed Tit. Later in the morning we could hear some birds calling and our eyes were naturally drawn towards the hedgerows but they weren't there. Ian looked up and there at considerable height were 15 Long-tailed Tits heading south! The natural world never ceases to surprise and amaze you.

As you can imagine we were quite busy processing 65 birds so my recording of other species on vis isn't overly accurate but included 7 Chaffinch, 2 Meadow Pipits, 310 Jackdaws, 2 Alba Wags, 2 Linnets, 26 Goldfinch, 3-4 Reed Buntings, 4 Skylarks, 2 Siskins and 2 Grey Wagtails.

The only raptor we had this morning was a Peregrine south and just one Whooper Swan, that was an immature bird heading north. Over 300 Pink-footed Geese arrived and were dropping onto fields at Fleetwood Farm.

It would seem that in the week the weather is turning northwesterly and at the moment the possibility of some migration monitoring at the obs is slim. But in the optimistic words of group members "there's time for it to change yet"!

1 comment:

Newton Stringer said...

A couple of years ago I had a very similar LTT experience. I watched a whole big tribe of them lift out of my ringing site and climb, and climb, and climb until they were just tiny dots in my bins, then they flew off south calling at high altitude !