Saturday, 26 September 2015

Firecrest and only a year late.

One scarce bird that I expected to find at Billinge last autumn was a Firecrest and I thought it was even more likely when it became apparent that large numbers of Goldcrests migrated through the site. Well I didn't see or hear one last autumn but one finally turned up today amongst another wave of Goldcrests, and a cracking male at that. With southeasterly winds forecast for the next few days there might be one or two more nice surprises like this with any luck.

Male Firecrest
A new species for the ringing site.
Another 22 Goldcrests were ringed today and only 1 was retrapped; a bird ringed 3 days ago. The lightest bird weighed 4.9g and the heaviest was 6.1g with the heavier birds being fat enough to undertake an overnight flight and migrate some distance. A weight of 5.0g is about average for a Goldcrest and most were above that so will be moving on pretty quickly, probably tonight.

Other birds caught were in line with recent visits although 4 Coal Tits perhaps hinted at some movement in that species. There was a bit more movement overhead today, although I didn't have time to do any counts, with a Tree Pipit being the highlight. 

Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) for 26/09/15 were: Meadow Pipit 7; Robin 3; Blackcap 2; Chiffchaff 8; Goldcrest 22 (1); Firecrest 1; Great Tit 2, Coal Tit 4; Goldfinch 1; Lesser Redpoll 8. Total 58 new birds and 1 retrap.

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