Wednesday, 16 March 2016

More Siskins and the BLB Blackcap

Another short ringing session in the garden produced 7 new and 5 retrap Siskins along with a new Goldfinch, a new Chaffinch and a retrap Blue Tit. Not long after the net was taken down a ringed Blackcap appeared and was photographed, yet again, and confirmed it was the usual Belgian ringed individual.

Male Siskin 16/03/16
The 7 new Siskins caught this morning brought the total for the year to 133. The 5 retraps included 4 that were ringed in the past few weeks - one from 11/02, another from 19/02 and two from 28/02. The other retrap was more interesting in that it was ringed on 01/03/2014 and is only the second between year retrap Siskin I have recorded.  All the Siskins that visit my garden are late winter visitors or spring migrants and it is interesting that this bird returned having missed a year (most Siskins stayed on or near their breeding grounds last year). The previous between year retrap involved an individual that was ringed on 21/03/13 and retrapped on 01/03/2014.

Male Siskin 16/03/16
Female Siskin 16/03/16
There were around 30 Siskins visiting the garden today and if previous good years are anything to go by some could be visiting the feeders right up to the end of March or just into early April, so there is scope for catching a few more yet.

I still haven't had the original ringing details for the Belgian ringed Blackcap but it has been recorded in the garden nearly every day for the past two months. It usually feeds close to a window so it isn't too much trouble to get enough photographs of the ring to verify the number. The photos don't usually show the bird very well as the aim is to confirm the ring number rather than get a nice portrait. The first summer visiting Blackcaps should be arriving in the next week or two so it will be interesting to see if this wintering bird overlaps with any of them.

138 are the first three numbers on this Blackcap's ring. 

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