Sunday, 13 October 2013

Viking Invasion

Saturday was another epic ringing session. The time to get up is finally getting a bit later and so I had a lie in until 4am. We met ScouseRinger at 5:30am when it was still dark. 

When we had set the nets up it was just getting light and, as we were walking down a track back to Peters van to get the ringing equipment, we saw the ghostly shadows of two Barn Owls hunting together; it was a true spectacle of nature. I have seen some amazing wildlife things in my life like the murmaration at Marbury Park or the flock of 400 Black Tailed Godwits that once flew over my head, but the Barn Owl spectacle has got to be one of my top ten. 

As it got properly light, birds started to move around a bit more, especially the flocks of Redwing that had just arrived from Scandinavia.  Our first net round brought us a few Robins a Blackbird and our first 4 Redwing, I have never ringed or even held Redwing before so it was rather special.  As well as big flocks of Redwing, large numbers of Pink Footed Geese were passing over.


 Redwing catches were steady throughout the morning and it was very interesting processing good numbers of these birds to understand their characteristics. Redwings take a ring size of CC  and by the end of the session we had processed 43 Redwings. There were also smaller numbers of Fieldfare moving through and they often mix in with the Redwing flocks .We only caught one Fieldfare though.

Female Fieldfare

This Fieldfare we caught was a female due to the markings on the crown.


It really was the day of the thrushes, catching 4 species Redwing, Blackbird, Fieldfare, and Song Thrush; one of my favorites, these are really noisy birds just like Great Spotted Woodpeckers (another nice species of bird we caught today, first time for a while). Some of the Redwings we caught today were possibly from the Icelandic form as they can have a greater wing length and have darker plumage.

Song Thrush

Another great session with lots of learning.


  1. love the fieldfare and thrush! so pretty!

    your parents are so wonderful to enable you to do this!

  2. A great ringing session Findlay.
    Watching those Barn Owls would be up in my top ten too.

  3. Can't beat Barn Owls in the morning definately an honour to watch them quartering fields just as the sun rises, it recharges the soul. We had our first Song Thrush at the feeders this morning.

  4. I love all the thrushes Findlay but that little Song Thrush is a beauty...

  5. Congrats on your first Redwing Findlay. I'm sure you see many more.

  6. Beautiful photos!
    Greetings, RW& SK

  7. Great stuff Findlay..... Your head over heels in love with nature, it doesn't get much better than that.

  8. Pretty birds and beautiful photos!

  9. Terrific shots! The thrush has such pretty markings.

  10. So many lovely birds and just wonderful photos too!

  11. Wonderful birds - we dont get "winter thrushes" like that down here - I used to like the "seep, seep" noise that flying red-wings make.

    I dont get the Crimson Rosellas in my garden either - and if I did I would never leave the house!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. Lovely to see our winter thrushes arrive. Great stuff Findlay

  13. Great post, Findlay.

  14. Hi Findlay ... What great adventure your life has been in the past year !!
    Would you ever believe that you would being doing this??
    Four hundred birds flying over my head , and Owls hunting in the early morning light would bring goose-bumps to my arms in the excitement!!
    Great place to get lots of ringing with a good variety of birds!
    Love that last photo!!


  15. A nice set of birds. Especially the one you are holding. :)

  16. HI Finlay Wonderful selection of our winter Thrushes.