In the half light as we put up the nets we could hear three different male Tawny Owls calling with only a single female response. Other calls in the darkness came from Fieldfare, Snipe and Grey Partridge. Craig asked me if I had seen the female Hen Harrier of late and shortly after I told him that I hadn't seen it since 24th January she drifted over the hedge behind us and flew over the field between us and the woodland. We had absolutely stonking views of her! As she got to the 'big field' birds were getting up 'left, right and centre' and we could see her chasing something! Other raptors included two Kestrels and a male Sparrowhawk.
We had a few Shelducks heading east and I always think of this as a good sign that spring is just round the corner as birds are returning inland to breeding areas. It was hard to read anything in to the Lapwing movements we had this morning as we had 43 go southeast and 40 west! Probably just local movements between feeding areas.
We processed 22 new birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):
Yellowhammer - 10
Chaffinch - 4 (2)
Dunnock - 2
Tree Sparrow - 2
Blue Tit - 1 (10)
Robin - 3 (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
It was nice that that 55% of the birds we ringed this morning were red-listed farmland birds. Between 1983 and 2011 we (Fylde Ringing Group) have only ringed 86 Yellowhammers and so far this year we have ringed 13! Not huge numbers, but pleasing nevertheless.