Thursday, 3 November 2016

Billinge: 3rd November 2016

A short ringing session at Billinge got off to a great start when the first bird out of the nets turned out to be a control Goldcrest. I could hear there were a few around and the next couple of hours produced another 14 new birds and a retrap, making 16 Goldcrests in total. That is a decent number for early November and shows some are still on the move.

This is the 4th Goldcrest to be controlled at the site this autumn. I am still waiting for information on when and where two of the previous controls were ringed so I will have details of 3 to post when they eventually come through.
There weren't many thrushes moving and only a few were caught but they included a Fieldfare so that also added value to the session as I don't catch many. The next net round produced another good bird in the form of a female Blackcap. It wasn't carrying much fat so could be a bird that has migrated here for the winter but there is also a chance of it being a tardy summer visitor; either way a good record as November Blackcaps are few and far between in this area.

Adult male Fieldfare

Only the 16th ringed at the site this autumn.

Today's female Blackcap.
I was already very happy with the session when a Woodlark flew over and made it even better. I first picked it up on call and then watched it fly over me as it headed south and was lost to view. It must have u-turned soon after as I heard it come back over the west side of the site but I didn't manage to see it again as it was on the other side of the hill from me. It is probably the first record for the site and it was certainly the first there for me. I had been in two minds about going out this morning as I had a meeting to go to at 10am so wouldn't have much more than a couple of hours with the nets up but I am certainly glad I made the effort now.

Ringing totals (retraps and controls in brackets) for 03/11/16 were: Goldcrest 14 (2); Blue Tit 1; Blackcap 1; Wren 1; Blackbird 1; Fieldfare 1; Redwing 5. 24 new birds, 1 retrap and 1 control.

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