Friday, 25 September 2015

Playing Catch-up

After last Saturday's schoolboy error Kim and I returned to the Obs for another ringing session the following morning. We had virtually clear skies with a 5 mph southeasterly wind. This time I did have a spare net but thankfully it wasn't required!

It was pretty obvious straight away that there wasn't much on the move and all we had on vis was three Alba Wags, eight House Martins, two Meadow Pipits, a Collared Dove, a Grey Wagtail, 15 Greenfinches, 14 Carrion Crows, five Swallows and a Chaffinch.

Grounded migrants were thin on the ground with just a Song Thrush, three Robins, five Dunnocks and a Chiffchaff. Raptors were represented by a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk, and that was about it other than what we ringed.

We ringed thirteen birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):

Blackbird - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Robin - 2 (1)
Goldfinch - 1
Greenfinch - 6
Dunnock - 2


I've been working in Cumbria again all this week including the confusing bit of Cumbria that is in the Yorkshire Dales and I have included a few snaps from the office below.

 One day this week I found myself working in the Scottish borders.

Not far from Keswick

The Howgills

I had a late night last night watching a band in a not so local hostelry so an early start was out of the question this morning, but I did manage to surface eventually and spent an hour and a quarter seawatching. Movement at sea included two Gannets, four Auk sp., four Red-throated Divers, a Guillemot and ten Common Scoters.

As the tide ran in a few waders started to appear on the shingle ridges and I had 23 Ringed Plovers, 29 Dunlins, 81 Turnstones and 230 Sanderlings. The only grounded migrants I had were three Wheatears feeding along the beach.

I then took a walk down to the estuary and as it warmed up I had a few insects on the wing including Speckled Wood, Common Darter, Red Admiral, Common Blue Damselfly and Migrant Hawker.

 The Hawthorn tunnel to the estuary

A couple of Blackcaps in the Hawthorns were the only migrant passerines and then I had a look on the pool where I counted four Little Grebes, 44 Tufted Ducks, 55 Mallards and three Teal. Out on the estuary I had 18 Lapwings, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 122 Redshanks, 290 Black-tailed Godwits, 49 Dunlin and a Knot.

This afternoon whilst sat in my conservatory with a coffee reading Mark Avery's 'Inglorious' I had my first Pink-footed Geese of the autumn with a flock of 100 high up heading south.

I've cleared my diary of site visits for the next two weeks so I can spend every morning birding and ringing at the Obs. The forecast is looking good for the next week with several days of easterlies, so fingers crossed for some good migrants!

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