Showing posts from November, 2010

Finches galore as garden ringing session breaks three figures

A close eye on the forecast and a gap in my work schedule meant that today was to be another ringing day in the back garden with Mark Breaks. Mark arrived at 7:20 and by 8 we had all the nets up and were busy taking in the first four Blue Tits from the top nets. No sooner had we processed these - all retraps - we could see the bottom net was burgeoning. As we opened the shed door, the top one was getting quite heavily populated too! A Grey Wagtail was calling repeatedly but never came near to the net area.

We hastily emptied the net of the first catch that was of more Blue Tits along with lots of Chaffinches and Goldfinches. The odd Greenfinch was caught as well, a far cry from previous winters, and of course several Bullfinches old and new. We nearly ran out of bags so we processed this first full batch as quickly as we could. Twenty five minutes later, they were all done so it was out for the next round and we had just as many including the first Lesser Redpoll of the winter - an ad…

Splendid November day in East Lancs and a Great White Egret to finish off

The weather forecast had predicted Friday to be a calm and sunny day so as I wasn't required at work I decided I'd try and do the two Barnoldswick timed tetrad visits (TTVs) that I'd committed to. I'd only just taken these on as I had offered Tony (the BTO organiser) to fill in the remaining gaps of tetrads that no-one wanted to do. So these two together were assigned to me.

I'd arrived at Letcliff Park on the outskirts of Barnoldswick at 8:15 - it seemed a good spot to park my car as it was bang on the edge of each of the two squares. I was greeted by a very nice flock of Siskins and Goldfinches feeding in the birches and Blackbirds abounded in the park. I made my way down through the park and town centre towards the soccer (that's my daughter's state-side influence, sorry) pitches and the sewage works. Plenty of common bird interest at the latter but my attention was drawn to the trilling of Waxwings near the football club and I could see three in the tre…

Pied-billed Grebe, Hollingworth Lake

Serendipity was the order of the day as I had already booked this day off work as we were getting some bedroom furniture fitted, so for it to be a fine morning and a mega on the doorstep, things could hardly be better.

Bernie had noted that there were several Blackbirds in the garden competing with the Bullfinches for the last of the Rowan berries - new arrivals I guess from the continent with their all-dark bills. Even more Blue Tits and Chaffinches were at the feeders and several unringed.

Once the bedroom people had arrived, I put the optics in the car and headed for Rochdale.Forty minutes later, the car was parked and I headed off round the lake, pausing to chat with a few friends on the way. The bird had been showing near the road but seemed to have headed back to the samll pool so I went round there and soon found it in amongst the willows.

Very soon, it made its way through the inlet and onto the small pool where I managed to get a few shots.
Very obliging in my opinion and as t…

Another day's ringing - and more Waxwings

.... no, unfortunately not caught but again today at Barrow where the sun shone and around 50 of these birds were still gorging themselves on the berries.

Having sated my appetite for the cute trilling calls, I headed to Waddington Fell where the Great Grey Shrike was showing distantly away from the gunfire of the clay-pigeon shoot. I guess it will be here until next April and will entice more birders into the area once again.

On Saturday, the nets were up in the garden just before dawn on a windless, clear morning. The sun was going to be a problem later on but that didn't stop a good number of birds being caught - quite a few re-traps from last week as you would imaging but a few more from last winter and lots of new birds. Blue Tits and Bullfinches have clearly done OK this year and the number of Chaffinches ringed is certainly up.
We caught another Treecreeper, from the bill measurements we reckon it's a male but ageing and sexing these is difficult even in the had.

Birds ca…