Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Splash Of Yellow

It was minus four as I headed to my feeding station for a last ringing session of the winter. I will continue to feed throughout March, but my focus will be on monitoring spring migration at the obs instead. Two nets were erected and then I retreated to the ringing station to warm my hands on a cup of coffee.

There was some visible migration this morning, even though it is sometimes hard to detect in land-locked lowland Fylde, and I had 230 Pink-footed Geese, two Grey Wagtails and a Siskin head north with four Shelducks heading east.

I had a few Fieldfares this morning but they headed south in groups of one, 12 and eight; probably moving from feeding area to feeding area. Three Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming from three clumps of woodland and their drumming carried along way on the crisp, still air.

 Great Spotted Woodpecker

It was impossible to say how many Tree Sparrows were coming in as I was busy extracting birds from mist nets and then rinigng and processing them, but my notebook does have a count of 46 birds in it, which is a definite under estimate. The only raptor of the morning was a single Buzzard drifting east with a corvid escort!

The ringing kept me busy with 17 new birds and 17 recaptures, including a male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker that managed to spill my blood numerous times!  New birds are as follows with recaptures in brackets:

Song Thrush - 1
Brambling - 1 (1)
Tree Sparrow - 6 (1)
Yellowhammer - 2
Chaffinch - 1
Great Tit - 4 (3)
Blue Tit - 1 (6)
Dunnock - 1
Robin - (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - (2)
Goldfinch - (1)
Blackbird - (1)
Coal Tit - (1)



It's a morning of nest box maintenance for me tomorrow, with assistance from my other half Gail; I bet she can't wait!

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