Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Crawford 23/06/15

The number of birds using the feeders at Crawford has been growing judging by the speed they have been emptying and I have had to fill them every other day just to keep pace. I don't normally carry on feeding such sites into summer but the potential to catch good numbers of Lesser Redpolls , Goldfinches and Tree Sparrows has tempted me to do so.

The forecast for this morning was near perfect so I decided to go and put up a couple of nets for a few hours. I opted for a leisurely start rather than getting up a stupid o'clock and arrived just after 6:30 a.m. I soon had the nets up and started catching straight away and it was clear that a good number of juveniles were now using the feeders. The first couple of hours were quite busy but the catching rate then slowed as the sun burned off the cloud cover and made the nets more visible. I packed up by 10 a.m. having caught 59 birds comprised of 44 new birds and 15 retraps.

Juvenile Lesser Redpoll
Juvenile Goldfinch
Juvenile Tree Sparrow
Ringing totals (retraps/controls in brackets) were: Goldfinch 15 (6); Lesser Redpoll 4 (3); Greenfinch 5; Chaffinch 1 (1); Bullfinch 1; Tree Sparrow 10; Great Tit 1; Long-tailed Tit 1 (1); Blackbird 1 (1); Robin 1; Dunnock 2 (1); Magpie 1; Chiffchaff 1. Juveniles made up just over half the catch with a total of 30 and included 9 Goldfinch, 8 Tree Sparrow and 3 Lesser Redpoll.

A few new adult Goldfinches were caught and provided more examples of variation in plumage. Both of these birds are males (age code 6) with the bird on the right having a less extensive red mask than some females.
This female Chaffinch had a quite a bad a case of scaly leg which is caused by an infection of mites. This bird was released unringed because of the severe encrustations. Chaffinches seem to be particularly prone to this condition and infected birds are encountered fairly regularly.

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