Monday, 24 October 2016

Billinge: 20th to 24th October

Migration has slowed at Billinge in the last couple of days but I have still managed to ring 250 birds since my post of the 19th. Redwings and Goldcrests have continued to dominate the catches with 123 Redwings and 64 Goldcrests ringed over the last 5 days. Warblers have been thin on the ground as you would expect with just 1 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcaps ringed and there has been no sign of any more Yellow-browed Warblers or anything scarcer.

The last few days has seen a bit of a purple patch for Sparrowhawks with 3 ringed - a first year female (21st), a first year male (23rd) and a cracking adult male today - bringing the number ringed this month to 6. On the other hand it has been a relatively poor autumn for Fieldfares, in terms of numbers ringed that is, and one caught on the 20th was the first of the autumn despite hundreds passing over.  It has to be said that they are far more difficult to catch than Redwings so the 6 that found their way into the nets this morning was a relatively good catch and a welcome improvement.

Adult male Sparrowhawk

The number of Lesser Redpolls recorded has remained disappointingly low with none moving after the 21st, when 7 were ringed. There have been a few blogging around and feeding in the alders since then but they are more likely to be birds that will stay and winter in the local area rather than being migrants.

This adult male Lesser Redpoll was a little bit paler than usual but there is no question that it is a Lesser.

A cracking adult male Lesser Redpoll
Combined ringing totals for the period 20th to 24th October were: Sparrowhawk 3; Goldcrest 64 (2); Blue Tit 1; Great Tit 2; Coal Tit 4; Chiffchaff 1; Blackcap 4, Wren 5; Blackbird 7; Fieldfare 7; Song Thrush 12; Redwing 123; Robin 4; Chaffinch 2; Bullfinch 2; Lesser Redpoll 8. Total 250 new birds and 2 retraps.

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