We heard the first Redpolls before we had finished erecting the nets but it was only a couple of small groups. There didn't seem to be that many birds about and the initial 2 rounds of the nets only produced 5 new Lesser Redpolls. Similarly, there seemed to be very little in the way of newly arrived migrants and literally nothing on passage overhead; no pipts, finches or wagtails of any description. A few Sand Martins were seen along with the odd Swallow but they didn't appear to be going in any particular direction in a hurry so may have been local breeders.
Quite a few Lesser Redpolls were attracted into the net by the MP3 lure and may just have been intercepted on their way to the feeders but interestingly we only caught unringed birds in this net whereas birds caught in the nets by the feeders were close to a 50:50 split of retraps and new birds. It may be that there were a few Redpolls on passage with some being attracted to the lure but if there were they must have been passing over a considerable height.
On approaching the net with the lure at about 07:30 we could see we had caught a couple of birds. One was obviously a Lesser Redpoll but the other was totally unexpected and a complete surprise.
|What have we here then.|
|Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis)|
Ringing totals for the morning with retraps in brackets:
Lesser Redpoll 15 (6)
Willow Tit 1 (1)
Chiffchaff (tristis) 1
Reed Bunting (1)
Total 18 (8)