Saturday, 22 October 2016

More thrushes!


An early morning search at Harrington Airfield this morning produced evidence of more large scale thrush movements just after dawn with particularly large numbers of Redwings. Smaller numbers of Fieldfare still numbered two hundred birds and there were plenty of Song Thrushes and Blackbirds but the stars were two Ring Ouzels half way along the concrete track in bushes by the dead willow trees. About six Bramblings were also present which included one on seed at the entrance of the concrete track with Chaffinches. A large covey of Grey Partridge numbered at least ten birds.

Later in the morning two more Ring Ouzels were in a grass field on the outskirts of Staverton, a favourite spot for Raven which numbered at least four individuals today. This afternoon a pair of Stonechat were present at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell.

Eric Graham was again at Thrapston Gravel Pits today and found a Jack Snipe, a female Goosander, two Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap.

In many respects the weather conditions today were ideal for mist-netting birds for ringing purposes. Nick Wood was at Chase Park Farm (bordering Yardley Chase) and caught 43 birds amounting to 16 Blue Tits, 6 Great Tits, 12 new Long-tailed Tits, 3 Goldcrests, a Wren, a Treecreeper, 2 Robins, a Bullfinch and a Blackbird. Chris Payne has been monitoring the Goldfinches coming to his garden feeders and so far this month he has caught 78 different individuals; this species is clearly a modern day success story and the provision of appropriate feedstuffs successfully supplements their natural food of seed emanating from thistle and similar plants.

A ringing session at Pitsford Reservoir today was centred at both the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station and in the Scaldwell Bay which culminated in 133 captures. Highlights included a Kingfisher, 12 Redwings, a Song Thrush, a Marsh Tit, 2 Willow Tits, a Blackcap, 7 Tree Sparrows, 2 Reed Buntings and 5 Yellowhammers including a re-trapped individual which is at least four and a half years old. Goldcrests caught numbered 24 birds and there were also 5 Bullfinches and 2 Lesser Redpolls (one of which was rather cold coloured).

Other birds noted at the reservoir included two Great White Egrets, three Green Sandpipers, a Snipe, a Raven, seven Pintail and a Chiffchaff.


Neil M

Picture courtesy of Cathy Ryden.

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