Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Site, New Birds

A full-on last four days of ringing saw three sessions achieve 256 new birds of 15 species.

Gary and Louise joined me for a morning in my garden netting around feeders and caught 97 new birds, half of which were either Blue or Great Tits, but also included 24 Goldfinch, 11 Greenfinch, six Chaffinch and two Redwing.  Whilst the highlight of retraps was a Blue Tit originally ringed here in late 2008 and a Crossbill flew over.

Monday saw myself, Paul and Martin up on Leith Hill again and after a quiet couple of weeks here this session was incredibly busy with a huge number of finches present.  At least 200 Redpoll, c40 Crossbill, c40 Chaffinch, c80 Siskin, 40 Goldfinch, 3 Bullfinch and 5 Brambling were seen.  A total of 138 birds were ringed but only involved four species - nine Goldfinch, 19 Siskin, one Lesser Redpoll, 14 Redpoll sp. and again dominated by Common (Mealy) Redpoll with 95.  One of these Common Redpoll was one of the northwest subspecies either rostrata or islandica which breed in Greenland and Iceland (below). Also caught another control Redpoll - Y469533.

Today, Paul and I spent the morning doing the first ringing session at a new scrub and riverine ringing site that I have set up not far from my home called North River.  Although the weather was uncertain I had already booked the day off work so went with it.  A series of small damp patches during the morning certainly limited the catch and only 24 birds were caught of eight species.  But this began with a great start and the first bird caught of the morning being a Barn Owl (below top two with Paul)!  If this was not enough a couple of hours later one of the ten Blackbirds we caught was bearing a ring from the Dutch ringing scheme (below bottom two)!  This bird had characteristics of the continental race as did six of the others which could potentially show a small movement across from Europe.  In addition, a Dunnock this morning had a large fat score and weight which could be a migrant from further north or east.  What a morning and what will the next ringing session here bring?

Birds ringed:
Chaffinch - 6
Blue Tit - 40
Great Tit - 10
Goldfinch - 33
Robin - 5
Dunnock - 3
Nuthatch - 1
Greenfinch - 11
Redwing - 3
Blackbird - 11
Common (Mealy) Redpoll - 95
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Redpoll sp. - 14
Siskin - 19
Song Thrush - 1
Barn Owl - 1
Goldcrest - 2

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