Saturday, 26 February 2011

'It's Hammer Time' - Greater Manchester - 26th February 2011

This is hopefully the first of three posts this weekend. I'm currently staying at Kane Brides' with the majestic ringing team of Chris Bridge, Ciaran Hatsell, Kane and myself.

Day 1
We were up early heading to Astley Moss in Greater Manchester with Steve Christmas targeting Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrow. When we arrived, it was raining with a light breeze which wasn't very inviting, but it soon stopped which meant we could continue with a lovely morning's ringing!

Adult male Yellowhammer
Tree Sparrow

adult male Yellowhammer undertail coverts
Male Reed Bunting
adult female Chaffinch
Throughout the day we had 23 birds including some stunning male Yellowhammer and several Tree Sparrow. Species caught included Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and best of all, Willow Tit.
Wonderful Willow Tit
This was the 2nd personal target species to have been caught in the last two weekends. It was a superb bird and if it's possible, I think I like them even more!

After the 3 nets we erected became quiet, we decided to check out a flock of c40 Waxwing in Westhoughton which were feeding on berries next to the doctor's surgery. It was reasonably windy and the tree was rather public, so we decided we couldn't attempt to catch them...which was a shame.
Kane and Ciaran taking a dip
Finally on Day 1, Kane had seen a couple of Coot on a flooded field at his feeding station site in Shakerley, so we thought we'd attempt to try and catch them. It rained on Friday night, so the water level had risen dramatically and the 'lake' had got to chest deep in some places...Ciaran found this out the hard way as we waded into the water to try to get them. Sadly, they were the 'Houdini' of the bird world and evaded capture which made the wading into ice cold water seem somewhat pointless! It was however entertaining to say the least!

1 comment:


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