Monday, 31 March 2014

A fine end to the month.

The baited site at Longshaw is still attracting up to a dozen Bramblings so I decided to try an early morning ringing session this morning. I was joined by Wayne and we had a couple of nets up just before sunrise. As we waited for the Bramblings to arrive I picked out a few short bursts of Willow Warbler song in the dawn chorus; this was the first of the year for both of us and my earliest record for this site. It went into full song as the morning warmed up but unfortunately it didn't find its way into a net.

The first Bramblings arrived a little later than expected and a group of 7 circled overhead before dropping in. One or two others may have joined them but it was hard to say as there was quite a bit of coming and going over the course of the morning. We caught 4 of them, 2 males and 2 females, which isn't many but it was still a good result as there weren't many to try for. It is getting quite late for Bramblings and these birds could head off for their breeding grounds any day now so this may have been our last chance to ring some this spring and was a fine way to end the month.

We packed up at 10am having ringed 4 Bramblings, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Chiffchaff and retrapping 1 Blue Tit and 1 Robin.

The garden feeders are still attracting quite a few Siskins although there appears to have been a drop off in numbers today. I have ringed another 38 in the week since my last post taking the total ringed to 173 in the past 6 weeks and there still hasn't been 1 control among them. This is quite unusual as a lot of Siskins are ringed each year and they have quite a good recovery rate for such a small bird as a result.

Speaking of ringing recoveries we recently received details from the BTO of a few birds that we have controlled. A Goldfinch I controlled in the garden on 10/02/14 had been ringed near Heysham Harbour on 20/11/11.

View V900497 Goldfinch in a larger map

A Lesser Redpoll controlled at Longshaw on 3rd May last year had been ringed on 28th April in Herefordshire. A movement of 152km in only 5 days. This bird probably wintered much further south than the ringing site and probably went on to breed much further north of Longshaw.

View D045900 Lesser Redpoll in a larger map

A ringed Black-headed Gull that I photographed at Three Sisters, Ashton-in-Makerfield in January this year had been ringed as a chick at Rye Meads in Hertfordshire on 24/06/12.

View EY07864 Black-headed Gull in a larger map

A Sedge Warbler controlled at Scotman's Flash on 02/05/13 had been ringed 69 km further north on South Walney on 28/04/13, only 4 days previously. This is an example of a bird overshooting its intended destination and making a corrective movement.

View Y863746 Sedge Warbler in a larger map

Another Sedge Warbler controlled at Scotman's Flash on 22/05/13 had been ringed on 26/07/12 at Icklesham in East Sussex on its southward migration. Sedge Warblers start their southward migration quite early in autumn and a large proportion leave the country in late July and early August. Sedge Warblers haven't arrived here yet this spring but many will be leaving again in as little as 4 months time as this recovery shows.

View Y911130 Sedge Warbler in a larger map

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