Sunday, 1 April 2012


Despite all my good intentions I didn't get up particularly early this morning but with a clear blue sky and calm conditions I decided to give the willow scrub at Longshaw a go. Having caught 3 Lesser Redpolls at Haigh yesterday I thought there was a chance of a few passing over. The site is only a short walk from home so by 8am I had a couple of nets up, speakers set and my fingers crossed.
A Redpoll called in response within a few minutes and was soon in the net. As I approached it I could see that is was already ringed and on checking the number I knew it was a control (ringed elsewhere). I couldn't have hoped for a better start.

control Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis caberet)
There seemed to be very little passing over despite what seemed to be ideal conditions but a few Lesser Redpolls continued to appear, only two of which were caught. One of these birds had an amber coloured poll in place of the usual red; a not uncommon pigment variation.

Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis caberet)

On one round of the nets I briefly heard a Goldcrest calling some distance away. A quick change of song to Goldcrest from the MP3 player and a male Goldcrest was in the net in less than a minute. This bird being a migrant as unsuitable habitat means they don't breed at this site

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
The final tally was a very modest 3 Lesser Redpolls including the control, 1 Goldcrest and 1 retrap Chichaff, originally ringed 20th March and the first back at the site.

This first day of April didn't produce all good news though. The dog has developed some sort of allergy or worse and has inflamed red skin. A trip to the vets on Monday being the likely outcome. Then most bizarrely of all a tile slipped off the roof for no apparent reason and hit the car on the drive.

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