The low visibility had its impact on diurnal migrants and only a few pipits, wagtails and finches pushed through. The bushes seemed to be fairly quiet but there was another little rush of Goldcrests first thing with all but 1 of the 14 ringed being caught in the first hour. One of the Goldcrests was unusual in that it had a slightly longer and down-curved bill that give it a striking appearance. A few Chiffchaffs moved through later in the morning when the mist had started to lift with one being a control and the 3 new Robins were all likely to be migrants. There were a few more Linnets around than of late with birds moving between nearby feeding areas and a few of these were intercepted towards the end of the session.
|The bill of this Goldcrest was a bit longer and heavier looking than normal but it was the down curve that made it look really unusual.|
|Its unusual bill has a little bit of a Treecreeperesque look to it.|
|Control Chiffchaff HVR169.|
There was meant to be a bit more of a breeze on Sunday and I hoped that would help keep the mist away but when I got up I could see it was foggy and not just misty. I thought twice about going out given the conditions as I knew the fog would make the nets much more visible. Anyway I decided to give it a go just in case the fog lifted when the sun came up.
I put up the usual nets and caught 2 Blackcaps and 2 Goldcrests in the half light but then the fog started to have more impact as the light levels rose. I didn't catch anything in the next net round and thought about packing up but I decided to give it just a bit longer on the off chance the fog would clear. At about the same time a flock of about 50 Linnets gathered in the trees near one of the nets so I decided to play a lure and they immediately came down to investigate. On checking the net I found I had caught 18 Linnets and while I think the fog made the lure more effective it also made the net much more visible so both helped and hindered the catch at the same time.
|All bar one of the Linnets caught were first year birds like this bird. The partially concealed red feathers on the breast show this bird is a male.|
By the end of the morning there was a flock of about 90 feeding in a nearby field.
Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 20/09/15 were: Sparrowhawk 1; Robin 2 (1); Blackcap 3; Chiffchaff 3; Goldcrest 6; Blue Tit 1; Greenfinch 1; Linnet 25; Lesser Redpoll 3; Yellowhammer 1. Total 46 new birds and 1 retrap.
|Juvenile female Sparrowhawk. Always a delight to catch and always a bit of a handful.|
|Sparrowhawks often manage to climb out of nets just when you are nearing them and females, being larger, usually find it easier to escape than males. Luckily this one didn't get away but it got very close to doing so.|
|Now look into my eyes, my eyes.|