I set the 3 nets in the top willows before first light and in what were near perfect conditions. As the light levels rose it was clear that there were a few birds around with the calls of Chiffchaffs interspersed by the occasional tacking of Blackcaps. The first round produced 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and a Bullfinch. One of the Blackcaps had the most striking appearance and had a series of pale bars across the wings and tail. These bars seemed to be caused by a lack of pigment in that part of the feathers and looked markedly different to typical fault bars. The feathers didn't look like they had any structural weakness as is usually the case with fault bars but the cause is still likely to be some form of nutritional deficiency when the bird was in the nest and the feathers were growing.
|Not your typical fault bars.|
|Whatever the cause, it had a striking effect.|
|This 3J Goldcrest is only just getting the first yellow and black feathers on its crown.|
|1cy Whitethroat. You can just see that the last quarter of the tail is darker than the rest.|
Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 03/09/2016 were: Goldcrest 11; Coal Tit 1; Blue Tit 1; Great Tit 2; Chiffchaff 9 (3); Blackcap 4; Whitethroat 1; Wren 1; Tree Pipit 1; Chaffinch 2; Bullfinch 1; Reed Bunting 2.