More settled weather meant Will and I could try for more migrants on Rawcliffe Moss today. There was no mist this morning, even with the clear skies overnight. The 0630 start gave little sign of overnight migration in the quiet plantation with the only hint of newly arrived birds a single Chiffchaff on the first round of the nets at 0715. Once again most of the action began soon after dawn with birds overhead, the major players being a count of 65 +Lesser Redpoll heading north in four hours. Smaller numbers of Siskin today with, less than 12 and a stifled Meadow Pipit passage of 6 single birds noted.
Our catch today was 19 birds, another 17 Lesser Redpoll to add to the 30 of Sunday and 5 of Saturday. Other new birds today: 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldfinch. As we expect, there are no recaptures of Lesser Redpolls with all the birds moving rapidly from the site and continuing their journey north. An interesting aspect this morning was the lack of male birds, with just one definite and the remainder of the 17 redpolls first year birds or adult females. It is not always possible to be 100% certain of the sex of brown first year lessers unless they show the beginnings of red admixed with brown breast or rump feathering. Wing length gives a clue but there is overlap between males and females.
I'm still waiting to see if anyone claims Lesser Redpoll L977497, not one of our birds but one we caught on Sunday.
Birding was subdued again this morning with some familiar counts and observations: 1 Corn Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Hen Harrier, 5 Buzzard, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 60+ Curlew, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 5 Roe Deer. Still a single lingering Fieldfare in the same field as recent days.
When I got back home the Long-tailed Tits were busy lining the nest with feathers in preparation for egg laying. Both of the adults’ tails are beginning to show wear as they spend more time in the confines of the tiny nest.