Saturday, 6 April 2013

Ringing At Last

At last Huw, Ian and Me managed to have the first ringing session for the spring at the obs this morning. As we put the nets up before first light it was flat calm with clear skies and a ground frost. A Barn Owl hunted ghost like across the fields just as dawn was putting out its fingers splintering the sky red and the first birds on the move were a group of 13 Redwings north.

Visible migration was the feature of the morning, particular Meadow Pipits, as the clear calm conditions were ideal for movement. As usual it was difficult keeping one eye and one ear skywards as we carried out ringing operations and undoubtedly we missed many birds. All the movement was northerly and between 0600 and 0900 we recorded 13 Redwings, 260 Pink-footed Geese, 982 Meadow Pipits, eight Woodpigeons, five Alba Wagtails, 14 Siskins, a Chaffinch, a Linnet, four Goldfinch, five Magpies, seven Lesser Redpolls, a female Blackbird, a Grey Wagtail and two Great Tits.

 Lesser Redpoll

The ringing totals weren't monstrous as we only ringed 13 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):

Meadow Pipit - 7
Reed Bunting - 1
Lesser Redpoll - 3
Wren - 1 (1)
Greenfinch - 1
Dunnock - (1)

 Meadow Pipit

We had no grounded migrants and no what you would call 'summer migrants'. The forecast is for it to be calm enough for ringing tomorrow and the cloud cover will build over night which night drop a few migrants in; I'll let you know.

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