With the unsettled weather set to continue for the foreseeable it was a case of try and do some ringing in less than ideal conditions to find out if any birds were still on the move at Billinge. The wind can be a bit lighter than forecast at dawn and the trees are still holding just enough leaves to provide some shelter, although they won’t be there for long at the rate they are dropping, so I set up for a brief session on Tuesday (10th) and again yesterday (12th).
Tuesday’s wind restricted session produced just five new birds – 3 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and a Chaffinch but at least it showed a few crests and the odd warbler were still moving despite the conditions. The wind was a bit lighter and allowed for a slightly longer ringing session yesterday and resulted in 12 birds being ringed – 1 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Yellowhammer. The lighter wind prompted a bit more movement overhead with around 900 Woodpigeon, 30 each of Fieldfare and Redwing and a few finches and Meadow Pipits heading south. In addition a flock of around 150 Starling headed north-west and another flock of 25 went south as did a few Jackdaws.
With autumn migration coming to an end and the wet and windy weather making fieldwork of any description very unpleasant it is probably time for me to think about finding my fat pants. I will probably pile on the pounds now despite my best intentions to do otherwise so a change of wardrobe will probably be required. My only hope of keeping to my summer weight is if we get a good influx of Waxwings, some wintering flocks of Redpolls and some half decent weather to keep me active.