Tuesday, 14 October 2014

What a difference a day makes

The wait is over and the lads (aka Redwings) really arrived in force over Billinge this morning. Small flocks started to drop in or fly over from first light and numbers increased shortly after sunrise with flocks in the region of 15 to 75 birds being seen at regular intervals. One larger flock of around 120 birds was noted but most were in double figures. I had a couple of nets up from first light and started catching Redwings straight away, I was then kept busy ringing for the next couple of hours so I didn't have time to keep looking up and do any proper counts. However, I estimated that a minimum of 600 Redwings were involved but it could easily have been as many as a 1000.

One of the 'lads' from this morning
There were a few Song Thrushes and at least 1 Blackbird mixed in with the Redwings but no Fieldfares. A few finches were moving through and blogging about with the majority being Goldfinches and Chaffinches but a single Brambling was picked up on call. Some finches went through that were not identified as they didn't call, were too far away or there simply wasn't time to pick up my binoculars to check them out but that is just the way it goes during a busy ringing session. The bulk of the action was over by 10am by which time the wind was gusting too much to carry on ringing anyway so I packed up having ringed 52 birds. The ringing totals were: Redwing 45, Song Thrush 2, Blackbird 1, Goldcrest 3 and Chiffchaff 1.

The floodgates have really opened and birds are piling in across the country judging by some of the reports from coastal sites. With the easterly airflow continuing and wind easing a little before it turns southwesterly we could be in for an interesting few days.

There was no crock of gold at the end of this rainbow, just plenty of Redwings. The gold is likely to follow in the next few days as large numbers of Goldcrest have been arriving on the east coast this morning and some will make their way across the country.

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