Sunday, 12 December 2010

First Yellow Bunt of the Winter Ringed

There was a frost, but no fog, when I arrived at Rawcliffe Moss to meet Ian just before 7.30 a.m. to carry out some ringing at the feeding station. We were only going to have a short session to allow the birds plenty of time to feed. As I drove towards the barn in the dark to collect two buckets of seed a/the Little owl flew up to the top of the hawthorn hedge. On my way home I would see the Little Owl again in its regular spot of the tree opposite the small barn. A number of Redwings called in the darkness as I walked to my car with the seed.

There were a number of 'Pink-feet' moving this morning and all were heading southeast. In total we had about 6,000 and interestingly we had 30 Greylag Geese high heading north. It's difficult to know what to make of Greylags, but I imagine with this cold weather there is a chance that these birds might have been genuine weather displaced birds.

As always when ringing at the feeding station it is difficult to estimate the numbers of birds using the feeding station and I made no attempt to estimate the Tree Sparrows, so all I can say is that there were 6 Yellowhammers and a at least one Brambling!

Whilst we were processing some of the birds we had a male Merlin 'shoot' east along the track and it was my first for the site for the winter. I could see that there were a number of Skylarks, approximately 150, in the 'Big' field, but I didn't have time to check the top fields this morning.

We processed 22 new birds as follows (numbers of recaptures in brackets):

Chaffinch - 8 (2)
Yellowhammer - 1
Reed Bunting - 2
Great Tit - 1 (2)
Blue Tit - 3 (12)
Tree Sparrow - 1 (1)
Starling - 4
Blackbird - 2


Tree Sparrow
We caught a number of recaptures at the feeding station as a result of the hard weather. We usually find this is the case and it is probably birds that have learned that there is food here and return when the weather is hard.

I will be maintaining 'radio silence' for the next couple of days as I am in the Peak District in Derbyshire for two days of meetings/training, so my next post will be later in the week.


Peter Fearon said...

Very jealous of the Yellowhammer! We just don't get them down our way!

By the way, is GREFI - TL07680 one of yours? I caught it last week at Fulwood and I am pretty sure it isn't a SWLRG bird - definately not mine!


Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello Peter,

No, that GREFI isn't one of ours.