Sunday, 21 September 2014

Robin Day

After the overcast and murky conditions of the past few days it was good to see the sun rise at the Billinge site this morning. I had three nets up at first light and set MP3 lures playing Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail under one of them. I thought the clear conditions may see an increase in visible migration but it soon became apparent that there was very little on the move. Perhaps it was the near flat calm conditions that was responsible for the lack of movement but the sky was largely devoid of migrating birds and Meadow Pipits in particular.

The nets revealed that there were more birds in the bushes than I had initially thought. The first net round produced 3 Robin, 7 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and a Grasshopper Warbler. More Robins were caught in nearly every net round with most of them being caught in the same net. By the time I had packed up at 10:45 I had ringed 13 which is an exceptional number for the location. This brings the total ringed at the site over the past 4 weeks to 40 and there seems to be many more Robins moving this autumn than is usual. Most species have had an excellent breeding season this year and these Robins are likely to be displaced British birds that are moving to find a territory rather than continental migrants. It will be interesting to see how many more pass through the site over the rest of the autumn and of course it would be great if one is recovered or controlled elsewhere.

Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia)

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Ringing totals with retraps in brackets:
Robin 13
Goldcrest 19
Chiffchaff 12 (1)
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Blackcap 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Meadow Pipit 5
Yellowhammer 1
Chaffinch 1
Dunnock 1
Total 55 (+1 retrap)

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