Monday, 29 December 2014

Birding In The Morning And Ringing In The Afternoon

It was cold and frosty this morning when I set off for a birding walk around part of the Obs recording area that I regularly cover in spring and autumn, but less so in winter. This is because other parts of the Obs are better in the winter and this area is more suited to migrants.

I didn't see great deal but it was just pleasant to be out in the glorious sunshine. The first birds I had of note were a pair of Stonechats that were attempting to feed in an area of dry reed behind the sea wall. These birds have been present all winter but it's been a while since I have recorded them so it was good to know that they were still here.

Next up was Little Owl, and again it has been a few weeks since I called in this area to check to see if it was in the usual place, and it was. I had a look on the sea but it was quite misty and all I could muster were five Cormorants, five Common Scoters and ten Eiders.

Walking back along the hedgerows with Gorse in flower a Skylark gave a little sub-song. It was flying high on 'fluttering' wings as if it was going to give it's song-flight, but the song it gave was somewhere between a call and a song. It must have been encouraged by the sunny conditions.


I walked back through the copse and found some fungi on a tree stump. I photographed them (see below) and identified them later as Velvet Shank Flammulina velutipes. If anyone knows that they are something else please let me know.

This afternoon Ian and I had a first ringing session at a new site within the Obs recording area which was very successful in terms of the sites potential, but less so purely based on what we ringed this afternoon. The site is private and secure, which is a huge bonus for a ringing site, and it mainly comprises of plantation woodland planted in blocks to screen an industrial site.

We cleared a double net ride (60 - 40 dog leg) and set up a feeding station. The site holds large numbers of roosting Greenfinch, and lesser numbers of Goldfinch and Linnets. The finches roost in some of the evergreen plantings close to the buildings and we have tried to catch them there, but they just drop in to the top of the vegetation completely avoiding our nets.  

We only managed to ring three Greenfinches but we weren't disappointed at all as the site has huge potential once we have sorted out a number of net rides and I think  it will be a good ringing site throughout the year and it has the potential to hold a number of migrants in spring and autumn.


We did see a few bits as we cleared the net rides and explored some of the planted areas including Water Rail, Buzzard, 135 Greenfinches (coming in to roost; probably 400 roosting at least), 70 Woodpigeons (roosting birds), two Sparrowhawks (male & female), 40 Magpies (roosting birds), 15 Goldfinches, two Linnets, Woodcock, Goldcrest and Song Thrush.

It's a day out with her indoors for me tomorrow, so normal birding service will be resumed on New Year's eve.

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