Sunday, 30 August 2015

Billinge 30/08/15

This morning's weather was perfect for ringing, flat calm with a thin veil of broken high cloud, and with August coming to a close it was perhaps the last chance for a good catch of Tree Pipits. I had 3 nets set up shortly after first light and the morning got off to a reasonable start with 6 Swallows that were caught as they exited their roost in the willows. There hasn't been a big Swallow roost this year but small numbers of around 20 or 30 have roosted at the site since early July.

Juvenile Swallow and a pale one at that. This bird lacks the usual rusty coloured throat and forehead

This juvenile Swallow has the more usual rusty coloured throat and forehead. It is also a younger bird and still has prominent gape flanges.
There was little in the way of visible migration but 12+ Tree Pipits were recorded and more than made up for the lack of other birds on the move. Six of these Tree Pipits were caught bringing the total ringed this autumn to 55 which is only 1 short of the total ringed last year. The number of Tree Pipits moving will fall rapidly over the next 2 or 3 weeks but there is still a chance I will catch a few more yet. I hadn't been sure if the number of Tree Pipits ringed and recorded last year was due to an exceptional set of circumstances (good breeding season plus prevailing weather) as it was the first year I had ringed at the site. However, the similar numbers ringed and recorded this year show that it is a regular occurrence and confirm that the site is one of the best for the species in the whole of the Northwest, if not the best. Other birds moving south during the morning were 25+ Siskins, 3 Grey Wagtails and 1 Tree Sparrow.

The first of the six Tree Pipits ringed this morning and the 50th of the autumn.
While there didn't seem to be much of anything about in the bushes a few birds filtered through resulting in a fairly steady catching rate throughout the morning. It became clear that the majority of Willow Warblers have now migrated as only 2 were caught while the number of Chiffchaffs showed an increase as is typical at this time of year. A Reed Warbler was the most unusual capture being well away from the nearest wetland habitat and is only the 3rd to be caught this autumn. The final total of 42 new birds and 2 retraps was really quite good all things considered.

Reed Warbler
Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 30th August 2015 were: Tree Pipit 6; Reed Warbler 1; Whitethroat 2; Blackcap 6; Chiffchaff 11 (1); Willow Warbler 2; Long-tailed Tit 1; Blue Tit 1; Chaffinch 1; Greenfinch 1; Goldfinch 1; Lesser Redpoll 1; Yellowhammer 1; Reed Bunting 1 (1). 

No comments:

Post a Comment