Saturday, 17 October 2009

Red sky at night

Friday: a cold front went through early leaving behind a chill east wind. A trip to the Priory feeders indicated a fair number of Redwings in and passing through. So later in the day I set a couple of nets in the more sheltered ride. A kingfisher sat on a bush in the other ride as I walked in and a Siskin flew over S.

Later, as it got darker, 100 Starlings W ( a rare sight here nowadays), a Kestrel & a Sparrowhawk hunting, & then 200 gulls W. At 17:40, all the resident Dunnocks started up, calling from their respective roost. 11 Redwing, a flock of LTT & a 20+ mix of Goldfinch/Chaffinch dropped into the 'long hedge' with the Blackbirds declining to roost with them, preferring a site facing the low grass of the 'new meadow'.

The following morning (today, Sat), Ed and I arrived in the dark to add to the previous days tally. Birds caught 32 (16) : Wren 1 (2), Robin (1) [ the 'grey' one], Blabi 3 (2) [ the new ones were 'continentals'], Redwing 4 [only one carried any fat, an adult ?female?], Lotti (4), Bluti 4 (3), Greti 4 (1), Treec (1), Goldf 12 [mainly lean with some fat retained], & Bullf 4 (2).

Above: A 'continental' blackbird.

Above: A retrapped Treecreeper (first caught earlier on this year).

Above: A young Goldfinch. The majority of these were caught yesterday (friday 16th).

Above & below: Over the last week or so this country has seen an invasion of these winter visitors (Redwing). Birders recording visible migration (vismig) in Bedfordshire have seen some remarkable movements (30,000 + in one day alone!).

Most of these birds will be moving on to other counties, carrying on their migration, but as they move through, we took our opportunity to sell them some jewellry (put a ring on them) whilst they stop at the restaurant (berries on the trees) and stop for a nap (at their roost site)!

Vis-mig: altogether we counted 650-700 Redwings N or NW in 7 main groups, 2 Linnets NW, 12 Sky Lark N, 1 Fieldfare W, 1 Twite S, 2 Lesser Redpoll S, 3 Meadow Pipits NE, 30 Wood Pigeon S (2 clusters), but we didn't count the blogging Chaffinches, Goldfinches (over 20) and the few Greenfinch that passed over our heads whilst dealing with the trapped birds.

No comments: