Wednesday, 28 October 2009

After the Redwings

With no wind to speak of, it was a dawn start. A few more thrushes today, perhaps?
We put the full run up, which divides the site in two. We have missed out recently by not putting the northern pair of nets up from the start but we console ourselves by realising that the yellow-browed and blue-legged "thingys" would have gone over the top or round the net run anyway! Just like today's Chiff did.

Back to business; today's tally. Dunnock 2 (1), Blackbird 2, Redwing 3, Goldcrest 1, Lotti (2), Blue Tit 1 (5), Gt. Tit 9 (7), Chaffinch 1, Bullfinch 1. The tits were caught 'all over the shop' making their way to the feeders. Because it was so mild today (it started at 11C and reached 17C) they weren't that interested in 'our food'. We are still catching new individuals of "the Ringer's friend" in small numbers so there must be some 'redistribution' going on. Our furthest "Prune" has gone a mere 4 km.

We noticed a little bit of migration going on above our heads today as we were ringing.

26+ Sky Larks west from 9am for about an hour; largest group =5. Redwings in small groups coming low, largest 9, and about 50-60 in total. The 3 birds we caught were all "out of fat" and needing a "square meal". One group of 16 Fieldfare dove into the willows at the end of the Fingers Lake. Some 6 'continental type' Blackbirds around us during the morning, with many more scattered through the park. However, with just the two caught, one of which was a definite "continental", again needing a good breakfast. There were also two high-flying Song Thrushes.

Mipits were indifferent at just 4 birds noticed going south. Best movement was a strong, tight group of Wood Pigeons, 125 in all, heading due south at a steady pace against a clear sky. Also a couple of Siskin heard plus a group of 3 Redpoll. There was also the usual small groups of Goldfinch chanting from the tops of the trees. A late Chiffchaff passed through non-stop at lunch-time. Our inverts were not to its taste, it seems. The Great Spot 'flounced' from one side to the other of the patch and back again; "just wait for the frosts and we'll have you, my boy".

Visiting raptors as usual (male Sparr & Kes). A lone Gadwall was spooked off Fingers, probably by an angler; it shot off high and fast! The passing Herons 'swore' at us, as usual.

We are still catching new Gt. Tits; today it was 9 new and 7 retraps; 7 of the 16 were 'adult' birds, i.e. post-breeders. They obviously had a great season, both survival and production wise.

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