The mist didn't clear, if anything it became more of a fog, but I still managed to catch a few birds including a few that were the first to be ringed or retrapped at the site this year. I have never managed to catch Redwings at the site in late winter or spring so catching 5 this morning was a first in more ways than one. I occasionally see a few Redwings on passage in spring but they are never very numerous, like they are in autumn, and they are very difficult to catch as a result. A Lesser Redpoll was the first to be ringed this year but not only that it was the first to be seen at the site this year, making it a double first. It effectively marks the start of spring passage for that species although most usually move through in April. A retrap Goldcrest was also the first of its kind to be caught at the site this year and had been ringed on 23rd September last year. It may have wintered somewhere locally but it could be a migrant that had wintered further south and was on its way back north. Migrant Goldcrests usually start to move through the site from mid-March with passage continuing into April.
|The Redwings were in reasonable condition although couple were on the light side and had little in the way of any fat. This is only to be expected as many would have struggled to find food during the recent cold weather.|
|This Song Thrush was caught with 2 of the Redwings and could be a migrant or a bird that was displaced by the cold weather rather than being one from the local breeding population.|
|The Lesser Redpoll had a mixture of amber and red coloured feathers in its poll as can be clearly seen in the close-up below. The poll is usually one colour or the other so I don't see birds like this very often.|
The fog meant there was no vis mig to speak of but a Siskin was heard and a group of at least 7 Meadow Pipits went north just above tree top height and hinted at what might have been had the conditions been clearer. Unfortunately the fog didn't clear and after a couple of hours some unforecast showers arrived and forced and early end to the session.
Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 13/03/2018 were: Redwing 5; Song Thrush 1; Goldcrest (1); Long-tailed Tit 2 (5); Blue Tit (1), Lesser Redpoll 1.