Sunday, 19 October 2014

Redwings, Redwings and more Redwings.

Redwings continued to pour over Billinge following the first big arrival on the 14th (post here) and a total of around 4,500 birds were estimated to have moved through during the period 15th to 18th. The biggest movement was on the 15th when upwards of 1500 were recorded during the morning with most going south. Counts were hampered by fog on the 16th and mist the next day but the weather didn't stop the Redwings from moving through in force on both days. Passage was almost as strong on the 18th despite a stiff southwesterly with 600+ heading south.The total number of birds involved will have been far higher as counts or estimates were only made during morning ringing sessions and some birds continued to move through in the afternoons and overnight.

Redwing, the bird of the week.

One Redwing had an unusual tail that looked like it had been dipped in white paint.
Some Redwings were well marked like this bird.
In direct contrast very few Redwings were recorded this morning with around 50 going south in the 2 hours from first light. This limited movement seemed to have stopped by 9am when the westerly wind became even stronger. Anyway I can't complain as it has been an impressive and memorable movement of Redwings and the ringing totals aren't bad either.

While the Redwings stole the show there were some notable numbers of Pink-footed Geese crossing the site on feeding flights. Skeins numbering in the low hundreds were seen on several days and at least 700 moved back and forth for a time on the 17th. The 17th also saw the first 2 Fieldfares go south. Small numbers of Song Thrush were also noted amongst the Redwings with around 10 to 15 being the most seen on any one day and few Mistle Thrush were also recorded going southeast. The Stonechats have continued to favour the same area and at least 5 were still present this morning and feeding just as voraciously.

Pink-footed Geese

The largest group of skeins couldn't be captured in one photo but this shot gives a flavour of the numbers of geese involved.
Normal Song Thrush (continental bird)
Not so normal Song Thrush. The face looks a bit Mistle Thrush like. Is it just a pigment abnormality or could it be a possible hybrid. Size wise it was typical of Song Thrush so I presume the former.

The Stonechats spent a lot of time fly catching as some good sized flies were on offer.
....and here is one in action, homing in on one of those big flies.
Male Stonechat, they are stunning little birds.

No comments:

Post a Comment