Sunday, 29 September 2013

Awesome Saturday & The Herald Turned Up!

On Saturday I was finally back at ringing again after being sick last week. We caught some great birds and saw some great birds too. Quite a few birds were active, as in flying about, and early in the morning I got to watch a fantastic "clattering" of Jackdaws flying from the trees awaking from a roost.

However it wasn't just birds that impressed on the day. As we had finished processing a group of birds we had caught, a biggish moth flew across us and firstly landed on the leg of our ringing table then flew on to a Bracken stalk, and as the moth came into the light I soon realised it was a moth called The Herald; a truly remarkable moth. It was the first time I had ever seen one and was surprised to see it in broad day light. 

When I first identified it and knew what it was, I first thought it was really rare but after some careful research at home I found out that it is actually quite a common moth and it's flight season ends near the end of November.  

Again before I move onto birds, it wasn't just moths and birds that caught our eye, there were a few nice butterflies knocking about including a beautiful Brimstone which was rather twitchy and sadly I could not get a photograph, but Peter got this cracker:

 Other butterflies included Peacock, Red Admiral (Peters first for the year) Tortoiseshell, Large White, Small White, Speckled Wood and this vibrant Comma.

Here is one more photo of The Herald!!! (No not you Trevor)!

Finally, moving onto birds. During the session we were watching a noticeable migration of Skylark and Meadow Pipit; at least a few hundred Skylark flew over and a little less Meadow Pipit. The birds migrating over seemed to be flying quite low over us (especially Meadow Pipits) and by the end of the session we had caught 8 Meadow Pipits one of which had 5 nasty ticks just below the eye; Peter was able to carefully remove the ticks with a lot of careful concentration. The five round black lumps under the eye on the photo below are the ticks (if you click on the picture is goes larger).

In total we ringed 64 birds and had a good variety including Blackcap, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Robin, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock and Chaffinch. 

 The place we were ringing at had a lot of Sparrow Hawks and during the ringing session I saw a phenomenal number of 8. We didn't just see these fantastic birds flying over but we also saw them chasing a Great Spotted Woodpecker and two of them then started mobbing a group of four Buzzards.

Another great migratory bird we saw whilst ringing was Pink Footed Geese high in the sky, the first of the year for me.

The day in one word.......AWESOME!

Our World Tuesday

Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. Sounds like a great day Findlay, well done to Pete too for removing those ticks, definately not an easy task.

  2. Bonitas imágenes
    Un gran saludo de un seguidor

  3. An impressive array of findings, Findlay, and that Herald is superb - I don't think I've ever seen one!

    Great job of work by Pete in helping that poor Mipit. Well done!!

  4. When we went ringing at the weekend we had 3 separate birds with ticks, a Greenfinch, House Sparrow and a Chiffchaff

  5. It's a beautiful moth Findlay... and you saw some wonderful butterflies.

  6. Exquisite macro shots of nature's beautiful birds and butterflies ~ for OWT ~ carol ^_^

  7. Glad you're feeling better now Findlay and are back out and enjoying your ringing duties. You had a good variety of birds to ring and some great butterflies to see but the star of the day has to be The Herald. What a wonderfully named and stunning moth? I feel quite proud to have had a moth named after me!
    I'm a bit envious of you as I've yet to see one, I guess I'll just have to keep looking?...[;o)

  8. What a wonderful variety of birds you encountered! And the moths and butterflies were a nice bonus!

    Thank you for sharing your day!

  9. What a fantastic explore of great nature. Peter must be surgeon:) Good job.

  10. that´s quite a nice butterfly. :)

    re the tree my pecker sits on, it sure is birch. But for silver, don´t know. :)

  11. While I want to compliment the bird, I also want to compliment the butterflies and moths you got images of...they are really captivating...nice work! Maybe you can visit my blog this is my 1000 th post ;)

  12. Those are some lovely shots. I bet it's a lot of fun being out there ringing. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Those moths and butterflies are gorgeous!

  14. great photos and commentary Findlay. All the photos are interesting after a great day out again. Glad too that the ticks could be removed; it's a wonder we don't see more of that happening to the birds in our photographs. Some time ago I realized a blue-tongue lizard in my back garden had ticks near it's ear-gill and apparently that's common when I viewed photographs I'd taken of it.

  15. Enjoyed your pictures. Awesome is the word for them for sure. It's awful about the ticks though.. Can't imagine being steady enough to remove them, but glad someone was. Poor bird.

  16. Sounds like a great day - I'm not sure that GS woodpeckers are normal prey for sparrow hawks; that a once in a life time sight I think!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: sorry for slow reply - I have been out of phone / internet range for most of the week - rather nice if the truth be told!