Friday, 25 March 2016

Returning Chiffchaff and the Blackcap is still here

I finally connected with my first summer visitor of the spring this morning and it came in the form of a Chiffchaff caught at Billinge. I didn't think any were about initially but it started to sing intermittently a couple of hours into the visit. Interestingly it was a retrap and had been ringed at the site as a juvenile on 28/08/14 but hadn't been encountered in the intervening period. It probably bred at the site last year but just not close to any of the net rides and so didn't get recaptured that year. Older birds tend to return a little earlier and claim the best territories and that it what this bird seems to have done this year. The area where it was singing is near one of the net rides and is always one of the first territories to be occupied so it will be interesting to see if it manages to hold on to it when other males arrive.

Retrap Chiffchaff HNN753, the only one back at the Billinge site so far.
The little blob between the eye and the bill is a tick.
On returning home it wasn't long before a ringed male Blackcap appeared in the garden and I managed to confirm it was the usual Belgian-ringed bird by taking more photos to read the ring number. When it will finally go is anybody's guess but if it doesn't leave tonight it may get held up by wet and windy weather that has been forecast for the next few days.

I did get better and closer shots but I thought I would show it on an apple for a change.

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