Wednesday, 10 March 2010


I checked the forecast yesterday afternoon for today and gave Ian a ring to see if he fancied a session at Rossall School before work this morning and he was up for it. I sent a text round the group and Craig said he would join us as well. Yesterday when Ian walked round the 'obs' there were quite a few birds about. A number of Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Dunnock and Robin in the hedges and about forty Meadow Pipits on the deck. It was forecast for fairly cloudy conditions over night with a 1 mph easterly wind.

We decided on an early start this morning as we could only manage a couple of hours before work, so we arrived at 0545. As we were putting the 'star' net up we had a Barn Owl go over us. Nice! As we put the other three nets up we could tell that there was very little about. There were a few more birds than last Sunday, but not as many as Ian had yesterday. It was also very clear and few birds were on the move. 'Typical' I thought!

Craig & Ian at the 'star' net

After an hour and a half we had ringed Blackbird, Dunnock and Meadow Pipit, and retrapped Wren and Robin. Anyway, we are not going to get too dispirited as it is only early March after all and what was encouraging is that we had a few Meadow Pipits interested in the tape even though we only recorded a handful going over. So hopefully when we have a few hundred going over later in March/early April we should catch quite well.

In addition to the Barn Owl the birding was quite slow as well. From a 'vis' perspective we had seven Goldfinch, 17 Meadow Pipits, two Reed Buntings and eleven Siskins go north. By weekend we should hopefully have the first Sand Martins and Wheatears going through, as there was a Wheatear on Bardsey Island yesterday, and that's not a million miles away. I can't wait!

'Stonking' male Blackbird

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