Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Another wave of Crests.

Venus was shining brightly in a near cloudless sky as I set up at Billinge this morning and thankfully there wasn't even a hint of mist to mar visibility. There was a slightly stronger breeze than I had expected so I used a different net configuration to ensure they were in the most sheltered positions. The last of the nets was up a little before sunrise and the first Meadow Pipits were on the move at about the same time.

The first net round only produced 5 birds but things picked up rapidly after that and I was kept busy for the next 4 hours. I had only heard a couple of Goldcrest calling during that first net round but 26 (24 new & 2 retraps) subsequently found their way into the nets so there had clearly been another influx. The 24 ringed today brings the total for the month to 145 and there is still a week to go.

The Goldcrests moving through at the moment will all be of British origin.
More Lesser Redpolls were on the move and another 14 were ringed including the first adult of the autumn. The total ringed this month now stands at 105 and we are not even into the peak period yet so I am sure there will be a lot more to come. There was a steady movement of Meadow Pipits overhead but nothing like the numbers there should and only 4 were caught. Perhaps the biggest surprise on the 'vis mig' front was that only 1 Grey Wagtail went south all morning.

The first adult male of the autumn sporting a fine pink breast.
Chiffchaffs headed the warbler totals with 8 new, 1 retrap and 1 control (a bird ringed elsewhere). I thought I had possibly caught my last Willow Warbler on the 17th but another turned up today making it the new candidate for the last one of the year. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was the first to be ringed at the site this year and a feisty male Sparrowhawk did its best to get its claws into me as they usually do.

Control Chiffchaff EKX574. Where have you come from?
Will this be the last Willow Warbler of the year at Billinge?
Juvenile male Sparrowhawk.
If this bird survives a few years the eye will become bright orange.
Ringing totals (retraps/controls in brackets) for 23/09/15 were: Sparrowhawk 1; Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Meadow Pipit 4; Dunnock 3; Robin 1; Blackbird 1; Blackcap 3; Chiffchaff 8 (2); Willow Warbler 1; Goldcrest 24 (2); Long-tailed Tit 1 (1); Great Tit 3; Chaffinch 1; Goldfinch 5; Linnet 1; Lesser Redpoll 14; Reed Bunting 1. Total 73 new birds, 4 retraps and 1 control.

Look into my eyes.
I know I have used that line before but I had to end the post with a head on picture of those hypnotic eyes.

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