Monday, 29 September 2014


Today was one of those days with far more potential than actual birds. Conditions were perfect for ringing at the Billinge site this morning but there weren't that many migrants around. This is because we are in that period following the mass exodus of summer visitors and early passage migrants and before the mass arrival of winter visitors and later passage migrants. Most of our summer visitors have gone and winter thrushes and finches haven't arrived in any number yet. In some years there isn't that much of a lull in between these two periods of migratory activity but looking at the forecast it could stay fairly quiet for the next week or so.

Warblers were very thin on the ground with the 4 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap ringed the only warblers recorded. Passage was very light with around 30 Meadow Pipits, 13 Swallows, 6 Reed Bunting, 5 Song Thrush and 4 Grey Wagtail heading south or south west. A high flying Jay went south east and followed a similar line to 3 seen yesterday and a Golden Plover was heard and sounded like it headed north west. 

A few Chiffchaff are still passing through.

Blackcap, the only one recorded today.

Another 2 Grey Wagtails were ringed this morning. This brings the total ringed at the site so far this autumn to 45. Not bad for a site with no flowing or standing water or any nearby for that matter.

Migrant Reed Buntings were passing through the site again today.
Around 14 Skylarks played in the sky above me for much of the morning. Play may not be the right term for their behaviour but they chased each other around in pairs or small groups for long periods and engaged in all manner of aerial display. Unfortunately they are not easy to catch but it is good that the site has a healthy population. Small flocks of Linnets, Goldfinches and Yellowhammers criss-crossed the site on feeding forays as usual and I boosted the morning's ringing totals by luring a few of the latter two species towards the end of the session.

Yellowhammers are quite common on the farmland immediately around the site and I have ringed 60 so far this autumn.

Ringing totals for 29/09/14
Goldfinch 13
Yellowhammer 12
Reed Bunting 4
Chiffchaff 4
Goldcrest 3
Blackcap 1
Robin 2
Grey Wagtail 2
Coal Tit 1
Total 42

A rainbow of sorts over the ringing site this morning.
An update on this rainbow can be found by clicking here.

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