Monday, 28 September 2015

A bit of moon gazing and more Goldcrests

I got up at 4am this morning to take a peek at the lunar eclipse and having ticked it I went back to bed for another hour. When I got up again and started getting ready to go ringing the moon was still partially shaded by the earth so I grabbed a shot while I still had the opportunity. It made a pleasant change to have crystal clear skies over the UK for a celestial event and I am sure the internet is now awash with photographs of the eclipse in its various stages.

The latter stage of the eclipse at 05:30 this morning.
I was out at Billinge shortly after 6:00am and had 3 nets up before sunrise. The first net round only produced 1 Blackcap but after the sun came up I heard the the first Goldcrests and Chiffchaff call.

Goldcrests dominated the next few net rounds and by 9am 23 had been caught and ringed. There wasn't much in the way of visible migration overhead and the little there was mainly involved Lesser Redpolls, Siskins and Meadow Pipits. A couple of migrant Song Thrushes came over at great height and, for a moment, looked like they were going to drop in before they carried on, heading southwest. A few Chaffinches, hirundines and the odd alba wagtail were also on the move but there were frequent gaps with no birds of any description going over. The catching rate slowed as the morning went on but I was more than happy with the final total of 54 new birds and 2 retraps especially as it included 30 Goldcrests.

The 30 Goldcrests ringed today brings the total ringed at Billinge so far this month to 235.
Adult male Lesser Redpoll
Adult male lesser Redpoll (same bird as above).
This Lesser Redpoll is presumably from a very late brood as it hadn't completed its post juvenile moult.
One of today's 3 Siskins 
Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 28/09/15 were: Blackcap 3; Chiffchaff 6; Goldcrest 30; Blue Tit (1); Coal Tit 3 (1); Goldfinch 1; Siskin 3, Lesser Redpoll. Total 54 new birds and 2 retraps.

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