The extra daylight of post-solstice is already noticeable by way of an 8 o’clock rendezvous with Andy at the set-aside. Maybe I should change that dashboard clock or perhaps just leave it until mid-March and the spring equinox when it will right itself? It was a cold but clear start which meant that the rising sun quickly appeared over the open field.
We’d cut an extra ride in the vegetation and added rape seed to the nyger/millet mix, so hoped to add to recent catches. Improve we did with 15 new Linnets, and once again, no new recaptures from previous visits where a count of 200/300 birds was the norm and 160 Linnets the total catch. This morning the flock appeared larger whereby we both agreed that the number of Linnets today was close to 400 individuals; it was quite a sight when once or twice the whole flock took flight and then landed in the tops of nearby trees.
We were on the lookout today for greyer headed individuals which might indicate birds of Scottish origin. This is a very personal and subjective assessment due to changing light and the angle of view, but the majority of those we caught seemed to be inseparable other than by sex. An exception is shown below with the uppermost male having a noticeably greyer hind neck and more streaked crown than the lower example. This difference is very marginal which may become more apparent if we can continue to catch and examine more “winter” rather than summer Linnets.
Otherwise birding – many thousands of Pink-footed Geese, easily 10,000 +. Two Snipe, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Buzzard.
Linking this post to Anni's Birding. There's more soon from Another Bird Blog