I can’t be bothered chasing about trying to see the first Wheatear or the first Chiffchaff while the weather remains so cold. The birds will come when they are ready, as soon as they sniff warm air up ahead, but there’s no sign of that happening today with another early morning frost.
In the meantime there are still a few wintering birds about too, as I found out when I topped the feeding station up on the moss. Just 12 birds caught, of which seven were new, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling and 2 Reed Bunting. The other 5 were recaptures of 2 recently ringed Bramblings and 1 each of Goldfinch, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. So it looks like I need to make the effort for more ringing sessions until the finches depart north.
A male Chaffinch this morning gave an enormous reading on the scales at 28.1 grams, a weight which later on may cause the database to “beep” as a potential input error. Upon checking the weight and examining the bird I found stored fat bulging from the chest cavity. It’s probably a bird going a fair old distance soon, just like the Bramblings heading off to Scandinavia or Russia.
Below is the fat Chaffinch and then one of the morning’s Brambling, both birds second calendar years.
A few Meadow Pipits overhead this morning, less than five and no other signs of spring arrivals, just wintering and resident birds: 5 Buzzards in the early sun, 6 Yellowhammer, 15 Chaffinch, 8 Brambling, 15+ Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrel, 12 Corn Bunting
Today's post is linking to Australia and Stewart's photo gallery.
Don’t forget, tomorrow on Another Bird Blog there's the chance to win the new Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, so don’t miss it.
Don’t worry if you miss out on the book, I’ll point you in the right direction to order a copy.