We met up at 0630 on the frosted moss again for another crack at dawn ringing. With it being April 1st I wasn’t sure if Will was pulling my leg when he said he’d caught and ringed a Snipe on Saturday night instead of staying in and watching the telly.
The nets went up and then whilst having a warming coffee he showed me the pictures of the Snipe, one of several we’d seen on a tiny flash of water on Saturday when trying to locate the Ring Ouzel. Nice one Will, it is several years since the ringing group had a Snipe on the yearly totals.
We turned to the more immediate matters in hand; Sunday morning’s ringing which turned out to be quiet once again, unlike Portland Bill on the south coast of England where on Saturday thousands of migrant birds made landfall. Saturday - “all but impossible to get to a best guesstimate of the numbers but 3000 Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff, 500 Blackcaps, 75 Wheatears and 12 Redstarts seems reasonable at the Observatory where the day’s ringing total reached 615 birds!!”
Unfortunately none of the thousands of that wave of migrants appeared to have travelled north overnight to the postage stamp of land that is Rawcliffe Moss, Lancashire, so we settled for the somewhat less impressive total of 11 birds, 9 new and 2 recaptures. We did get another 4 Lesser Redpoll together with 4 Goldfinch and 1 Reed Bunting. The 2 recaptures were 1 each of Goldfinch and Dunnock.
During the morning there was a small but evident arrival of Lesser Redpolls with probably 25/30 birds overhead during 4 hours. Little other noticeable migration except for a couple of Siskin, 10/12 Meadow Pipit and 2 flights of Golden Plover amounting to circa 50 birds. Other bird watching resulted in 1 Merlin, 1 Little Owl, 1 Kestrel, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 4+ Skylark, 2 Jay, 3 Buzzard, 6 Yellowhammer, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Mistle Thrush, 4 Grey Partridge.