Saturday, 9 October 2010

Haar, haar.

Got out early in anticipation of maybe a bit of 'grounded scarce'. The heavens were obscured by a layer of cloud as I put some nets up. The wind was also a lot stronger than the 5mph forecast. The next hour was busy with 19 birds to extract and process. First up was a Song Thrush that was being 'got at' by a juvvy male Sparr - but my intervention saved it and it got away with a few ruffled, and bloodied, back feathers.
Some minor damage to the rear end of today's Song Thrush

The bird was a Euring code 4 and much bigger than our known locals, so was probably a continental arrival.

With a little more light in the sky a couple of female Blackbirds popped by, both birds of the year and like chalk and cheese. The smaller one (123mm wing) had just 1ogc and the larger (133mm) had 4ogc. Here is the larger one that also had a fat score of 2.5
The 'continental' female Blackbird in a hurry to get away.

Then, with the MP3 lure on, it was the turn of 2 male Blackcaps to 'weigh in'. The smaller of the two was the heavier.
Shy 'teenage' Blackcap (3M) with 2 ogc; the lighter one .

By now the light was about as good as it was going to get all morning. The tits started to visit the feeders for a while starting about half an hour after (theoretical) sunrise. However, after a bit of a flurry, interest in the easy come by source of food failed to attract much enthusiasm. Four Bushtits did the honours, three of them newbies and most likely young of the year with their red eye rings.

So, after three hours of boredom, when I processed 3 more tits and a Dunnock and was thinking of taking down as the wind had backed to a worse direction, what should pop by but a young Treecreeper that I ringed a couple of weeks ago. So that was it. 24 birds of 10 species, of which one third were re-traps.
Last bird of the day - Treecreeper, aged 3, male on bill & hind claw.
Young Treecreeper with 2 ogc's and unmoulted, large white tip to alula.

Blue Tit 4 (3)
Great Tit 1 (2)
Long-tailed Bushtit 3 (1)
Blackcap 2
Treecreeper (1)
Wren 1
Blackbird 2
Song Thrush 1
Dunnock 2
Chaffinch (1)

No Chiffs, no 'crests, no Redwings, no King Harry's. The day started as it had begun - gloomy!

Observations made up for it some what, with the Sparr, 8 Lesser Redpolls, a Green Sand, 5 Swallows, 1 House Martin, several small parties of Chaffinch, 8 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall, a Grey Wag, a Pied Wag, 4 Mipits, 3 Sky Larks, a count of 180-200 Starlings west, just 1 Redwing ... and about 2 thousand Jackdaws as I was unlocking the gate on arrival.
Pie in the sky today! Next time? I've put a request in for light winds, as well.

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