Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Autumn sprites

Joined our University ringing group this morning - similar to last year we held a ringing demonstration for the fresh MSc students at Waxham, our regular site. I love this site. Even when migrant numbers are low (as is normally the case), it delivers the goods. This morning the wind was sort of alright but no rain to knock birds down. This resulted in few migrants in the air and on the ground. Throughout the morning we had a few mini-waves, or trickles of fresh-in migrants. Even these micro-events are magical. Suddenly Goldcrest calling from the surrounding bushes; or a small group of Song Thrushes dropping out of the sky. But lack of numbers was compensated by quality. First smile of the morning came in the form of the expected Yellow-brow, our first of the season, right on schedule:

Yellow-browed Warbler

A very bright individual. Note the pointed and abraded tips to tail feathers, indicating this is a young bird. Fresh in from Siberia.

Next reason for a big smile was this brilliant male Firecrest - fantastic little bird:

We had a good team and lots of eyes and ears, so throughout the morning a few more good birds were picked up - Short-eared Owl zooming across accompanied by angry crows (Phil); a few Brambling calling, in-off; a second, unringed Yellow-brow; and Purple Sandpiper down on the beach (Daniel). Early on I heard a Red-breasted Flycatcher inside our trapping area, but only in the late morning I managed to see it. It dodged our nets and eventually went missing, but nice bird anyway. Anyone who might try to search for it, I suggest to give it a miss - it's deep inside an area with no public access, and anyway the bird did not stick around.
Later on in the morning we had some Lesser Redpolls flying over and we caught two males:

Great day to be out with the team - Iain, Dave, Phil, Jen, Harry and Daniel. Thanks.

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