Sunday, 2 November 2014

more Redwings

There was another good movement of thrushes over Billinge this morning, much as expected, with Redwings being the dominant species. Birds were calling overhead through the darkness when I arrived at 6am to set up the nets but the bulk of the movement that could be seen was from shortly after first light to an hour after sunrise with flocks dropping in or passing over every few minutes. It was hard to gauge how many birds went through in that short time as I was kept busy ringing but I estimated it was close to 1,000 Redwings. There weren't many Fieldfares but two sizeable flocks of about 100 birds each went through.

The final wintering destination of this Redwing could be France or even further south in Spain and Portugal. 
After the initial rush a few flocks of Redwings continued to move through occasionally but all movement seemed to have stopped by 10:30. The morning saw another 55 Redwings caught and this session brought the total ringed over the last 3 weeks to 552 and there could be a good few more to come. There should still be some birds that have yet to work their way south from the northern isles and mainland Scotland and the weather looks favourable for another arrival of thrushes on Wednesday or Thursday, around the time of the full moon. If there is another arrival of thrushes it is likely to be mainly of Blackbirds and Fieldfares but a good number of Redwings could also be involved.

Only 2 other species were ringed this morning and these were Goldcrest and Coal Tit. The 9 new Goldcrests brought the number ringed at the site this autumn to a fairly impressive 297. Observations alone would not have revealed anything like that number of birds moving through the site nor the rate of turnover. Hopefully there will be some recoveries of these birds in due course to indicate their origins and destinations. At the other end of the scale the single Coal Tit brought the number of that species ringed at the site to a much more modest 22.

Goldcrest. There has been an almost continuous turnover of these birds at the site over the last two months.
Coal Tit

A very smart little bird.

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