Sunday, 14 October 2012

Really Fogged Off

My heart sank when mist and fog were forecast for this morning and sank further still when I got up at 05:50 to find the forecast was correct. Fog is generally bad news for ringing as it can suppress any migration and makes nets easier to see. I had three choices – go back to bed, watch the Korean Grand Prix or go ringing at Longshaw as planned and hope that it would lift quite quickly.

Sunrise through the gloom at a foggy Longshaw ringing site.

Adjacent farmland through the gloom.
I went with the latter and hoped the fog would burn off leaving clear blue skies and stimulating some movement. I put up a couple of nets and set up a couple of mp3 lures playing Grey Wagtail and Goldcrest initially. The first round of the nets lifted my spirits a little with a Grey Wagtail and Song Thrush being caught. The Song Thrush appeared to be a continental bird being more olive grey on the upper parts, especially noticeable on the nape,mantle and rump unlike our much browner British version.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos).
The generally olive-grey upperpart of this bird suggested it was of continental origin.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos). Olive-grey back and rump suggest this bird is of continental origin.
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

The fog looked like it would clear quite quickly at first and allowed few birds to move but then closed in again, only finally clearing at 11:30. A few Song Thrushes were calling from the bushes and 3 others flew south east but only two Redwings were seen. The first Brambling of the autumn was heard and 4 Reed Buntings moved south through the bushes. A single Redpoll appeared through the gloom followed much later by a group of 3 as the sun came out. Meagre pickings from what would have been a really good day, without the fog that is.
male Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Ringing totals:
Grey Wagtail 1
Lesser Redpoll 2
Blue Tit 2
Long-tailed Tit 2
Song Thrush 1
Blackbird 1
Wren 1
Goldcrest 1
Coal Tit 1
Reed Bunting 1
Robin 1
Total 14

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