It's starting to feel like the season is nearly over here at Falsterbo. In fact, it will be in just two weeks. Ringing in the lighthouse garden is getting quieter each day; over the last few days we've gone from 200+ to >100. We'd hoped the drop in temperature yesterday (the first real cold snap of the autumn) would bring a load of Robins, Blackbirds etc. It didn't. It looks like Sweden might be empty already. Nonetheless, even if we're not catching big numbers of things we're still catching interesting things.
On one day, we caught three Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. A male:
And two females:
Despite what's apparently been going on in the UK, we've seen very few Jays here at Falsterbo. A while back, six arrived in the lighthouse garden; we thought that might have been the start of things... but it wasn't. And, thankfully for our fingers, they managed to avoid the nets. Since then we've seen just a handful of Jays and we've only caught one. Again, thankfully for our fingers, this one wasn't really the best at biting...
The bird had been feeding and, apart from the bill, was in reasonable condition so we ringed it, wished it well and sent it on its way.
We've now equalled the annual record for Sparrowhawk.
And for Long-tailed Tit. Most birds are clean caudatus but we've also caught at least one good europaeus and a handful of intermediates.
Last night we did some owl ringing. Part of the by-catch was a new in-hand species for me, Skylark.
The commonest species was, as expected, Tengmalm's Owl; we caught seven, including a Swedish control.
A nice bonus was this 1cy female Long-eared Owl.
I've got lots of photos of various ages of Tengmalm's Owl (a lot of last night's birds were 3+cy or older) and I'll post them sometime. I've also got some photos and recording of tooty Bullfinches, lots to say about retained alulas, ageing Robins as adults, and some stuff on Great Tits. At least it'll keep me busy through the long winter nights! Talking of Great Tits, partly tying in with what I'll say at the future date, yesterday we caught this bird carrying a Lithuanian ring.
Despite thrashing the bushes on the way back home from ringing every day, birding has been quite slow. At the start of the week there were hundreds of Goldcrests to sift through; now, it's getting harder to find birds of any sorts — just a few Robins etc. I keep on in the hope that eventually one of them will have a blue tail.
On my way back today, I did manage to connect with three Bewick's Swans, a Barn Swallow and a 1cy female Goshawk.
Interesting birds in the lighthouse garden over the last seven days have included a dozen Waxwings (one in the garden and a flock of 11 flying over), a couple of Nutcrackers, and migrating Parrot Crossbills and White-tailed and Golden Eagles.