I soon had three nets up and a couple of Sedge Warblers in the first net round made for a good start and indicated that some new migrants had dropped in. Catching was fairly steady and mainly involved the usual species but an adult Garden Warbler was also notable, being a scarce passage migrant at the site, and only the second to be ringed this autumn. Also of interest was a Willow Warbler that was wearing a ring from elsewhere and is the first of this species to be controlled at the site.
|Sedge Warblers don't breed at the site and only a few turn up on passage. It is always interesting to catch migrants like this in bushes on a dry hillside rather than in their usual lowland wetland habitat.|
|Adult Garden Warbler|
|Control Willow Warbler. If you are using rings starting with the letters HLA then the details of its capture today will be coming to you very soon.|
|The first Tree Pipit of autumn 2015 and hopefully the first of many|
|One interesting aspect of the Tree Pipit passage at Billinge last autumn was that it started and peaked earlier than at many of the well watched coastal and inland 'vis mig' sites. It will be interesting to see if the same happens this year.|
Whilst walking between the nets I noticed that a group of caterpillars had defoliated one of the small willows.
|Spot the caterpillars|
|The culprits were these Buff-tip (moth) caterpillars.|