Monday, 23 October 2017

More Red and Gold

The forecast for this morning had stay in bed written all over it as a band of rain was due to cross the region during the first half of the morning, but I decided to get up early anyway and check the weather then. When I got up the rainfall app showed the band of rain was much more fragmented than the forecast had shown and that any showers in this area would only be light, short-lived and should clear by dawn. I gave it another half an hour and checked again by which time the shower risk had all but disappeared so I got my gear together and headed up to Billinge.

It turned out to be a really good morning with a total of 82 birds ringed so I was really glad I didn't stay in bed. Redwings were moving in decent numbers with at least 1,500 heading south and another 45 were ringed. There were more Goldcrests around than there have been recently as shown by the 33 that were caught and ringed. It is quite unusual to catch that many Goldcrests this late in October, especially as there haven't been any big influxes of continental birds to boost numbers this autumn.

There wasn't much in the way of a supporting cast but a juv female Sparrowhawk was an uncommon capture and only the second female I have ringed this year. A female Blackcap was interesting because we are at that crossover point between late departing summer visitors and those that come here to winter. The weight and fat load of today's Blackcap suggested it was more likely to be a departing summer visitor rather than a newly arrived winterer.

Ringing totals for 23/10/17 were: Sparrowhawk 1; Goldcrest 33; Blackcap 1; Song Thrush 1; Redwing 45; Robin 1.

Redwing 23/10/17

Goldcrest 23/10/17

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