Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter 2016 - hail, Starlings, Siskins and that Blackcap

I wasn't going to post anything on the blog today and to be honest there isn't really anything new to report but then not much change can be news in its own right. I was more or less confined to barracks today as I had some chores to do including cooking for 10 this afternoon. Cooking for 10 may not sound a lot but some of the appetites I have to deal with means that cooking for 10 is more like cooking for 15.

The forecast of sunshine and heavy showers with a risk of thunder, lightening and hail came good as the day progressed and was quite spectacular at times. If you have to have your wings clipped because of domestic duties then that is the sort of weather you want so you don't feel you have missed much and wanted to go out anyway.

There were a few heavy showers today including this spectacular hail shower which was accompanied by thunder and lightening early this afternoon.
Given we are nearing the end of March it turned out to be a good day for birds in the garden. I managed to fit the cooking and other chores around watching the feeders, taking photographs and catching a few birds in a cage trap. I had to suspend some cooking prep, turn hobs off from time to time and turn ovens off, even part way through cooking, but I got away with it judging by feedback on the final outcome. More to the point I largely got the photographs I wanted, colour-ringed 5 Starlings for my RAS project, resighted 2 previously colour-ringed Starlings and resighted the Belgian-ringed Blackcap (ring number confirmed from photographs as usual).

A68 is one of the Starlings that was resighted today although this particular photograph was taken on the 25th. A68 was originally ringed in May 2015.
Ringed Blackcap at the apple and Siskins at just one of the eight feeders. Not bad for late March in any garden.

This Blackcap could well be the most photographed Blackcap in the UK, ever. 

It is hard to not get attached to individual birds when you have watched them for some time and this bird certainly won't be forgotten in a hurry.

Blackcap with some of today's hailstones for background. South Notts Ringing Group produced an interesting post relating to a wintering Blackcap which can be found here.
Siskins continue to visit the garden in good numbers given the date and they put on a great performance as usual. There were up to 12 at the feeders at any one time and I got the impression that there were a few more around than there has been in recent days. Hopefully I will get the chance to catch and ring a few more before they all finally head north or back to the continent.

Adult male Siskin 27/03/2016. This one is ringed but most of the birds seen today were unringed.

Plenty of action at the feeders as usual.
All 3 of these birds were unringed.
Adult male Siskin 27/03/2016
We will probably miss the worst of the storm (Katie) that has been forecast for tomorrow (28th) and the weather for Tuesday onwards isn't looking bad either so there may be more to report in the next few days.

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