Saturday, 12 September 2015

Billinge 10/09/15

Being up at 5 am has become the norm for me in recent weeks, so much so that I now wake up before the first alarm goes off. The 10th was no different and I was out and setting up at Billinge by first light under a crystal clear sky. Although the forthcoming sunrise was starting to brighten the sky to the east it was impossible not to notice and be impressed by the sight of the Crescent Moon with Venus close by. It was one of those sights that would have been worth getting up for in its own right although my photograph doesn't really do it justice. Had I taken the photo a little earlier Mars would have been just visible in the left of the image.

The Crescent Moon and Venus stood out as dawn broke on the 10th.
Anyway back to birds and the stand out species were ones that continue to be conspicuous by their near absence. Meadow Pipit passage is normally well underway by now and this species usually makes up a good proportion of the birds ringed and the majority of the birds passing overhead but yet again there was hardly a Meadow Pipit to be seen. The odd one that was seen or heard seemed to be from the small local breeding population rather than being birds on passage. This is being noted elsewhere across the country and it looks like Meadow Pipits have had a particularly unsuccessful breeding season overall. There is still a slim chance that breeding was just delayed by the cold spring and that the birds will move later as a result but as each day goes by this becomes an increasingly unlikely outcome. Similarly there hasn't been any movement of Reed Buntings as yet and a poor breeding season seems to be the most likely scenario there too. On the other hand Grey Wagtails may have had a reasonably productive summer as passage started more or less on time and small numbers are now passing through daily.

Grey Wagtail
I have said this before but Yellow-vented Wagtail would have been a more appropriate name for the species, not that I am suggesting a change in name now.
The most regular of the migrants passing overhead at the moment are Siskins and frustratingly they have generally been dots in the sky with none coming down to the trees and net level. Today that changed and first 2 were caught in the last couple of rounds of the nets. Hopefully, these will be the first of many and more will drop into the trees to feed in the coming weeks as the the alder cones start to ripen. It is certainly turning out to be an interesting autumn and I am sure there are going to be more ups and downs in terms of numbers of birds to come.
1CY male Siskin

Adult female Siskin
Ringing totals for 10th September (retraps in brackets) were: Grey Wagtail 2; Dunnock 2; Blackcap (1); Chiffchaff 5; Goldcrest 2; Long-tailed Tit (4); Blue Tit 3; Great Tit 2 (2); Chaffinch 4; Goldfinch 5, Siskin 2. Total 27 (7)

No comments:

Post a Comment