Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sorry Chris!

My first ringing at WCP since September was aimmed at clearing the rides and perhaps catching some very late Reed or Sedge Warblers. Well you don't know unless you try! Once the rides were clear and it was light enough to see,( I got there at 7am, and it was still dark!) I put Reed and Sedge Warbler on the tape lures and bingo, I caught two CETWA.

Both were males and one was an adult as I was able to see that it did not have tongue spots.

Ken Goodrich was with me at the time and he was able to confirm that while these two birds were in the net, there were two other males calling.

I also caught 6 LESRE out of a meagre total of 13 birds.

Common Redpoll at Thornton,at last.

One of three Common Redpoll caught with LESRE at Thornton today.

The COMRE had a much greyer colouration and the GC were much paler and not buff. Below I have included a LESRE for comparison.

The COMRE is on the left and the LESRE on the right. Note the buff tinge to the chest which contrasts with the white belly, whereas the COMRE has a white chest aswell as belly. Both these were first year birds. I also think that the head structure seems different. The LESRE seems more rounded.

At first I was concerned that perhaps I was looking at juv. LESRE, but I eventually got my eye in. I can see how it could be difficult with just one bird for comparison.

The bird below is very pale but it had a streaked rump and therefore is a COMRE and not an Arctic, so sorry Dave, but I shall keep trying!

My total for Redpoll at Thornton this autumn is now 131.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Goldcrest Tails.

Male Goldcrest

Pointed tail of first year bird and below the rounded tail of an adult. So many of the crests we do at this time of year are first year birds that it is nice to see an obvious adult.

Redpoll Envy!

An adult male Lesser Redpoll, one of 116 that I have caught at Thornton this Autumn.

Note the generally brown colour of the mantle and the buff tipped greater coverts.

A smart Common Redpoll, caught with two Lesser Redpoll by Nigel and Chris at Charnwood Lodge recently. The following photos show the more extensive white feathers in the mantle and the white rump. The greater coverts are also tipped white rather than buff as in Lesre.

The white extends from the mantle to the rump.

An obviously white rump.

The bird has a much paler appearance and none of the116 Lesser Redpoll ( Have I mentioned this before? I'm not bitter, I prefer LESRE actually, anything with the name Common, well it just sounds abit ordinary, apart from Rosefinch!!) that I have caught were any where near that pale.

There is hardly any streaking on the under tail coverts.

I had a catch of 33 Lesser Redpoll today. Out of the 116 I have caught this autumn only 14 have been adults.

Monday, 10 October 2011

More Redpolls.

A pleasing net full of Lesser Redpoll at Thornton.

A total of 27 were caught bringing the autumn total to 39 so far. All were Lessers and most were young birds, with only four adults caught.

A smart adult male with a photo of its rounded tail below. Adult birds also have fresher primaries than juveniles.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Chaffinch are back

It may be only 15 Chaffinch that we caught on Saturday but it shows that they are finding their way back to our roost site among the Rhodedendrons. We started the afternoon as usual, knowing that the feeders would provide us with a few of the usual tit species to keep us going until the roost birds started to come in. What we didn't expect was to find on our first net round, were 3 nets (away from the feeders) holding a large flock of tits, 'crests and creepers, this would continue all afternoon. Surprisingly the feeder nets didn't see much action at all so they were taken down. We heard plenty of Siskin and redpoll but no time to catch them, and 6 Crossbill flew over. As for the roost a few Blackbird and Song Thrush but no Redwing , yet!
The day ended on 127 new and 15 retraps.
Wren 4 (1)
Dunnock 2
Robin 2
Blackbird 6 (1)
Song Thrush 2
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 1
Goldcrest 25
Long-tailed Tit 21 (2)
Coal Tit 4 (2)
Blue Tit 20 (4)
Great Tit 15 (2)
Nuthatch 2 (2)
Treecreeper 5 (1)
Chaffinch 15
Siskin 1

Monday, 3 October 2011

Redpolls at Thornton.

I managed to catch 12 Lesser Redpolls at Thornton this weekend. These birds will probably move south eastwards towards the low countries and France.

I also caught this adult Collared dove. They normally get out and I have only rung 2 previously at Thornton. They also seemed to be a species in decline.

Meadow Pipits at Charnwood Lodge.

Nigel and Chris have been having some success catching Meadow pipits as they pass through.

They are not easy to age as the greater coverts show considerable variation. Adults should have one generation of feathers at this time of year.

This bottom photo shows the right hand bird with little variation in the G.C. which are buff , while the left hand bird has paler G.C. Is the left hand bird a first year and the right, an adult?

We chickened out and 2 it!