Saturday, 3 November 2012

Bramblings headline

The forecast was fairly promising for mist netting this morning so I headed off to the baited site at Haigh. I was hoping for a Brambling in the catch as one had been present when I topped up the feeders earlier in the week. I was late getting up and it was already getting light when I arrived which was less than ideal. As I was setting up I could hear the distinctive nasal calls of several Bramblings amongst the calls of Greenfinches along with a good number of Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds leaving their roosts.

I put up the usual two nets and set up two mp3 lures, one playing Goldcrest and the other playing Redpoll. On the first round of the nets I was delighted to find 2 Bramblings in the catch; a good start to what became a very productive morning.

adult male Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
The feed had clearly attracted a good number of birds especially Greenfinches with a total of 30 being ringed. Chaffinches were surprisingly scarce with only 2 caught and outnumbered by the final total of 5 Brambling ringed. The Goldcrest lure produced the goods with 10 new birds and the Redpoll lure pulled in 3 Lessers.

first winter male Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
One interesting feature of the morning was the high proportion of adults in the catch - 3 of the 5 Bramblings, 6 of the 30 Greenfinches, 8 of the 10 Great Tits and all 3 Lesser Redpolls. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the rest of the winter.
Adult male Greenfinch showing the key ageing features - clean yellow outer webs of alula with pearly grey tips, pearly grey tips to all of the primary coverts and rounded tail shape, all primaries and tail feathers are fresh.
Ringing Totals:
Greenfinch  30
Brambling  5
Chaffinch  2
Lesser Redpoll  3
Bullfinch  1
Great Tit  10
Blue Tit  6 (+4)
Coal Tit  0 (+2)
Robin  1
Dunnock  1 (+1)
Blackbird  1 (+1)
Goldcrest  10

Total  70 (+8 retraps)

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