Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Mostly Woodies

A light easterly wind and generally clear skies led to a mass movement of Woodpigeons this morning. Around 7,000 went south over Billinge in the first few hours after sunrise and large movements were recorded at many other sites across the country. Some impressive numbers were recorded including 60,894 at Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks); 24,711 at Hale Head (Widnes, Halton); 18,450 at Berry Hill, Stoke-on-Trent (Staffs); 16,825 at Winter Hill, Bolton (Gtr Manc/Lancs). Details of these counts were taken from the Trektellen website (link here) which is a great resource for anyone interested in migration in Britain and Europe.

Just a small part of one of the larger flocks of Woodpigeon.
I had hoped the light easterly would produce an arrival of thrushes but only 28 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush and 3 Blackbirds were recorded. Only small numbers of finches and buntings were on the move with redpolls continuing to be in very short supply. The general glut of alder and birch seed seems to be responsible for the much reduced migratory activity in redpolls so far this autumn. On the plus side there appeared to have been a small arrival Goldcrests and another 15 new birds found their way into the nets and were ringed.

Ringing totals for 29th October: Goldcrest 15, Redwing 9, Meadow Pipit 3, Goldfinch 2, Lesser Redpoll 2, Yellowhammer 1. A control (ringed elsewhere) Reed Bunting was also caught and was one I already had details for. It was originally ringed as a juvenile at Scotmans Flash (6km to the east) on 30/07/13 and was also retrapped there (by me) on 15/04/14. 

Reed Bunting

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