Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Rapid recovery report and an early juv Starling

I received a recovery report for a Lesser Redpoll this afternoon, which is not that surprising given how many I ringed last autumn, but what was surprising is that it was controlled at 06:55 this morning and the details were emailed to me just over six hours later, now that is a rapid turnaround for a recovery report. Hats off to the ringer who controlled it and to the BTO for the quick work.

Another more interesting point is that it is still so far south given the date. This bird was migrating south when caught at Billinge last autumn so is likely to head back this way at some point and it may have been on passage when controlled in Devon this morning. Coincidentally I was out at Billinge this morning and did have 3 Lesser Redpolls going north. I only caught one of them but it was a fat bird and weighed 14.4g so is likely to be heading up to Scotland to breed. There hasn't been a particular good passage of Redpolls at Billinge this spring which is a bit of a surprise given how many went south last autumn. Perhaps there are quite a few that have still to make their way back north?

Z854373      Lesser Redpoll
Ringed        23/09/2015  Billinge Hill, Merseyside.
Controlled   04/05/2016  Buttercombe Barton, Devon. 280 km SSW. Duration: 224 days

Another bit of news from today is that I saw my first juvenile Starling in the garden this evening. I knew they were breeding earlier compared with last year but I have never seen a fledged juvenile so early in May before. It will be interesting to see how many young each pair have once more start to follow their parents into the garden.

It took me by surprise and didn't stay long and that is my excuse for only getting a rubbish photo.

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