With Will in Scotland I had to go it alone for this morning’s ringing session on the moss. So I dropped one of the net rides to save the leg work and as a safeguard against a rush of finches hitting the nets all at once as they sometimes do. It’s not necessarily the taking the birds out of nets that takes the time, but the processing and documentation of each bird’s age, sex, wing, weight and fat score.
It worked out fine as steady catching kept me busy but not rushed. My session lasted 5 hours by the end of which I had caught 39 birds of just 5 species, 38 new and 1 recapture. New birds: 25 Chaffinch, 10 Meadow Pipit, 2 Blackbird and 1 Chiffchaff with 1 Goldfinch recapture.
The overhead Chaffinch passage was quite strong this morning but the Meadow Pipit numbers less than earlier in the week, or the week before. There seemed to be banks of cloud to the west and north but the moss was bright and sunny if a bit breezy this morning, with wispy clouds early on which made it again difficult to see high-up birds. “Vis Mig” numbers 0645 to 1130: 400+ Chaffinch, 45 + Lesser Redpoll, 30 Siskin, 8 Greenfinch, 10 Reed Bunting, 200+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Swallow, 3 Song Thrush, 30+ Alba wagtail.
The juvenile female Goldfinch below is now attaining colour and beginning to resemble an adult Goldfinch.
Ringers tuning in to the blog will note the large proportion of juveniles (age code 3) today, not unusual of course in autumn. Also today, of the 25 Chaffinch ringed, 15 were juvenile females, another not uncommon occurrence in September/October a time when UK Chaffinches from northern regions head south and west.
Other birds today: 2 Tawny Owl calling from nearby woods at dawn, 10 Snipe, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Peregrine, 2 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Jay.