Here in coastal Lancashire the continuing cold northerly winds of the last few days seem to have put a temporary halt to migration.
A feature of last weekend was the many sightings of Buzzards on the move, either in small groups or singly, helped in no small way by the sunny days. It’s also a reflection of the fact that many Buzzards leave some marginal upland sites then head back there in March. There have been small numbers of Chiffchaffs, Wheatears and Pied Wagtails to herald Spring but certainly no mass arrivals. Otherwise the passage of Meadow Pipits has been rather thin and it’s a day or three early to welcome Willow Warblers or Blackcaps.
On Tuesday evening the forecast gave more overnight frost, no wind and a promise of a sunny Wednesday so there was a decision to be made, ringing for more redpolls or coastal birding. After recent successes it’s hard to resist the lure of a ringing session at Oakenclough so off I went again to meet up with Andy at the ringing station for 0600.
Lesser Redpolls dominated another quiet session with 13 new birds but only 3 recaptures from recent days and weeks: 7 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Long-tailed Tit the new birds, with 2 Dunnock and 1 Blue Tit the recaptures.
In the birding line we noted at least a dozen Lesser Redpoll overhead, some of which found the nets. A single Meadow Pipit was seen/heard but otherwise a nil count for obvious migration. Two Bullfinch which visit the feeding area continue to evade us while a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk or two pay flying visits.
Today’s effort leaves us with more than 25 Lesser Redpolls caught in the last ten days but a figure which might stay the same as a poor weather forecast for the next four or five days may put paid to more visits.
Looks like I will be birding in the rain and wind for a day or two- what’s new?