Sunday, 4 October 2015

1st to 4th October highlights include a YBW.

The new month has got off to a flying start, no pun intended, and I have been able to get out each morning. The 1st was fine and clear but the 2nd and 3rd were badly affected by mist and fog and this morning was murky and overcast although it did clear towards lunchtime.

Suprisingly the largest ringing total of the 4 mornings came on the 3rd when 83 birds were processed despite the foggy conditions, including 33 Chaffinches and 20 Goldcrests. The Chaffinches were presumably grounded by the fog although a party of Crossbills was heard and suggested some birds were on the move despite the conditions.

Although large numbers of Chaffinches move over the site on some days in autumn I don't usually catch many so the 33 ringed on the 3rd is quite exceptional.
Goldcrests continue to move through the site in good numbers with 349 having been ringed so far this autumn. This Goldcrest was a fat 6.1g so will probably be on the move tonight.
Ringing highlights during the period included a Redwing on the 1st (first to be ringed this autumn), good numbers of Goldcrests each day, the aforementioned Chaffinches, more Lesser Redpolls, good numbers of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs for October (up here at least) and today's gem - a Yellow-browed Warbler.

The first Redwing ringed this autumn was caught on the 1st just before sunrise, the only Redwing seen that day.

Today's Redwing (one of seven seen) had a wing length of 128mm which is at the top end of the range for 'iliacus' with only a tiny proportion being that large. More to be added on this subject when I have time to look up the stats.

The late breeding season means there are a few more Blackcaps around than usual at this time of year. Most have been juveniles but there have been a couple of adults recently including this female. The late breeding season has had a similar affect on some other migrants including Chiffchaffs.
A 'Poll' to ponder on. A bit paler than your average Lesser and larger too with a wing of 75mm. There seem to be more dodgy (paler) Lessers around this autumn or is it just me.
An adult female Lesser Redpoll with an amber poll. Thinking about it I am fairly sure that all the Redpolls with amber coloured polls that I have caught and was able to sex have been females.
With so many Yellow-browed Warblers in the country it was perhaps almost inevitable that one would come my way sooner or later.
Such a smart bird deserves a second photo.
Combined ringing totals for 1st to 4th October (retraps/controls in brackets) were: Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Dunnock 1; Robin 4 (2); Song Thrush 2; Redwing 2; Blackcap 7; Yellow-browed Warbler 1; Chiffchaff 14 (1); Goldcrest 67 (1); Long-tailed Tit 8 (1); Willow Tit (1); Coal Tit 1 (1), Great Tit 1 (1); Chaffinch 40; Greenfinch 1; Goldfinch 1; Siskin 2; Lesser Redpoll 31 (1); Yellowhammer 1. Total 185 new birds, 8 retraps and 1 control.

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