Sunday, 6 November 2011

In The Land Of Frost And Mist

It was the first ringing session at my farmland bird feeding station on the moss this morning and the frosty and misty conditions were a bit of shock. The moss is very low lying and combined with the fact it is inland it is often misty first thing in the morning. Thankfully the mist was just patchy and when I arrived on site it was clear.

As I drove past the barn a Barn Owl flew out in the dark and this owl sighting was closely followed by 2 males and a female Tawny Owl calling in the darkness as I took the poles off the roof of my car. I put the two nets up at the feeding station and Redwing and Fieldfare songs were played on my MP3 players and a Song Thrush and 3 Fieldfares were pulled in.

 Fieldfare

I ringed 24 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):

Song Thrush - 1
Robin - 1
Tree Sparrow - 8
Chaffinch - 5
Blue Tit - 5 (1)
Fieldfare - 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 male
Great Tit - (1)

 Tree Sparrow

Blue Tit

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Quite often at feeding stations you recapture birds that were ringed a few years ago and have seldom been caught in the intervening time. The Great Tit that I recaptured this morning was first ringed at the feeding station on 13/12/2009, then recaptured on 23/01/2010, 20/02/2011 and of course today.

There were good numbers of Pink-footed Geese around and I couldn't see where they were feeding to the east of me, but I counted 3,929 flying in to feed, so I am guessing there were 2 - 3 times that number based on the noise they made when disturbed.

It's always difficult judging how many birds are using the feeding station when you are ringing but I think about 50 Tree Sparrows were coming into feed with smaller numbers of Chaffinch. The only raptor I had this morning was a Kestrel and the only other red-listed farmland birds I had other than the Tree Sparrows was a single Yellowhammer.

 Chaffinch

On my way home I had a look on the river and I had a group of 6 Goosanders.

1 comment:

Topshots photography said...

Nice to see the woodpecker the ones up here are on hols i think not seen them for a while, reading your blog has kept me going as i had to close my wildlife blog for a while due to work and family commitments he's a link to my latest blog let me know what you think http://twitchersphotography.blogspot.com/