Saturday, 15 March 2014

11th to 15th March 2014

It has been a funny old week and it has not finished yet. It started off calm with glorious sunshine, then the fog came and stayed for the best part of a couple of days and today has been largely overcast and quite windy. Most of the garden Siskins took advantage of the fine weather and moved on with only 3 present by Tuesday but since then numbers have started to build up again. Up to 17 were on the feeders at any one time today but the total number using the garden could have been 2 or 3 times that number. Goldfinch numbers are also picking up with 9 being the highest count today but again many more are probably visiting the garden over the course of a day.
Numbers are building up again at the garden feeders.
Jump before you are pushed.
Just liked this one for some reason.
3 is not a crowd in this case.
Yesterday afternoon a fine male Lesser Redpoll appeared at the garden feeders and fed on both nyger seed and sunflower hearts. This is a species I had wanted to attract into the garden but despite much watching it didn't reappear today for the camera. It is early yet for Redpolls to be moving so there is still plenty of time to attract others and with a bit of luck it will be a small flock rather than a singleton. More Redpolls (all Lessers) have found one of my other feeding stations a few miles away and I caught 7 there in a brief session on a fog affected Friday morning ably assisted by Wayne, a very keen trainee ringer. Wayne's enthusiasm got me out a bit more than I otherwise would this week and we managed to catch 39 new birds and 8 retraps in the 3 sessions since Tuesday.

Migration wise a few Chiffchaffs have turned up here and there and Meadow Pipits are clearly on the move, most noticeably yesterday, with small flocks pushing through even in the foggy conditions. Siskins, Linnets and Goldfinches are also starting to trickle through. I haven't heard a Blackcap or seen a hirundine yet but they can't be far away now. Redwings have been a bit more obvious in the past few days as they head back towards their breeding grounds. There have been other signs too and spring is clearly on the March.

Magpie migration watch. They went that way.

Ringing totals 11th to 15th March with retraps in brackets
Dunnock 2
Goldfinch 3
Blue Tit 4 (2)
Reed Bunting 1
Lesser Redpoll 10
Great Tit 8 (4)
Long-tailed Tit 6
Goldcrest 1
Willow Tit 2
Coal Tit 2
Chaffinch 1
Robin 1
Total 39 (+8 retraps)

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