Sunday, 16 November 2008

Rock-a-bye baby!

Below: Me cradling an Oystercatcher after I put a ring on its leg.

Wash Wader Ringing Group November weekend

My 3rd trip to the wash (all this year) brought my first experience of a no catch session on Saturday morning. Undeterred, we went mist netting for waders.

Above: A view of the outgoing tide on Snettisham Beach

Above (right wing) & below (left wing): Both wings of an Oystercatcher with an abnormal moult pattern. Both wings began moult as normal but at some stage must have stopped and started again out of sequence. The brown feather is old, black feathers are new. In addition, the moult is at different stages on each wing (normally birds do the same on each wing). This bird was clearly not in a good condition & was only therefore replacing feathers when it had the energy to do so. There were odd feathers on other parts of the bird that had not moulted either. This oystercatcher also only had 2 toes (instead of 3) on each foot - could this mean that it has had trouble feeding and this is why it is in a bad condition?

Above: This Knot has travelled all the way from Norway to the wash. How do I know? It had a Norwegian ring on its leg!


A couple of jigsaws I completed recently.

Above: Game birds such as Capercaillie, Snipe, Woodcock & pheasants.

Above: Owls by James Hamilton (you may see more jigsaws in future by this artist - I am intrigued by them as puzzles.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Buckton - Flamborough Head

Buckton is on the cost and most birds found there in spring/autumn are migratory. All photographs thanks to Mark Thomas (

Apart from 1 new species ringed - Linnet (my 61st species), ringing conditions (weather) were poor most of the time. Slow trickles of newly arrived birds but no major fall. So we treated ourselves to a lot of bird watching - i.e. checking goldcrest after goldcrest for the odd pallas's warbler + firecrest - goldcrests seriously outnumber these birds! Perserverance paid off and I saw a number of species I have never seen before.

Above: Firecrest

Above: Pallas's Warbler

Above: Snow Bunting

Above: Subalpine Warbler

Above: Waxwing - simply stunning.

Also seen were Ring Ouzel & Rock Pipit (not seen before). On the seen already list - Woodcock, Jack Snipe, Snipe, Long Eared Owl & many more of lesser note.