Sunday, 13 November 2016

A late morning Firecrest

The forecast was for near calm conditions so I headed up to Billinge again this morning. I arrived half an hour later than planned and Redwings were already leaving their roost before I had time to get the first of the three nets up. So not the best start to the day but at least the forecast was spot on with hardly a leaf turning on any of the trees.

The first net round only produced 1 Blackbird and clearly wasn't helped by the late start which mean't I had missed the best chance of catching some Redwings. The catching rate remained fairly slow for the next couple rounds although there was some quality with a Fieldfare and a Grey Wagtail finding their way into the nets. The Grey Wagtail was a big surprise as there are no water bodies at the site and it must have been attracted to the size 11 puddles in the muddy part of the net ride where it was caught. There didn't seem to be any Goldcrests around to help make up the numbers and it was a little after 8am before the first 2 were caught.

The catching rate didn't really improve as the morning went on but another Fieldfare, a couple of Lesser Redpoll and a few more Goldcrests provided just enough interest to keep me going. Things then ground to a halt with nothing captured for a good hour and I was thinking about packing up when 2 Goldcrests and a Firecrest turned up in the nets. This encouraged me to stay on longer and another 3 Goldcrest were ringed, bringing their total to a respectable ten. When I eventually went to take the nets down a flock of Long-tailed Tits had been just been caught and gave the ringing totals a last minute of extra time boost. Sticking with it certainly paid off in the end with the Firecrest being the stand out highlight.

1CY female Firecrest, this is only the 2nd Firecrest to be ringed at the site making them rarer than Yellow-browed Warblers! 
Information from other ringers suggests there has been a small influx of Firecrests into the region in recent days.

A cracking little bird and one that made today's ringing session even more worthwhile.

Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 13/11/2016 were: Goldcrest 10; Firecrest 1; Blue Tit 1; Long-tailed Tit 9; Wren 1; Blackbird 5 (1); Fieldfare 2; Grey Wagtail; 1 Bullfinch 1 (1); Lesser Redpoll 2. Total 33 new birds and 2 retraps.

While I catch quite a few Grey Wagtails during their peak passage in September this was the first I have caught at the site in November and without the aid of an audio lure.

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