Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Slowly Does it

After a lull the frost returned last night to remind us it’s still February, and as I write this at 5pm it’s snowing hard and settling. Just as well we fitted in a ringing session this morning even though it was another finger nipping exercise when Will and I returned to the farm site near Myerscough for an 8am start.

We caught slowly and by 1030 it was all over with the nets coming down in double quick time and a chance to warm our hands.

Birds caught:
6 Blackbirds, of which 4 were retraps from previous weeks. Also, 12 Chaffinch, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Long-tailed Tit from a party of 6 that came along the hedgerow, 1 Dunnock and 1 Robin. After a couple of ringing sessions minus any Wrens in the cold weather of recent weeks, today we caught four new ones.

Male Reed Bunting

Female Reed Bunting

Female Chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

An interesting recovery came through yesterday of an adult female Goldfinch I caught in the garden on 26th October 2009. It was originally ringed in Chilworth Surrey on 27th January 2009 where it may have been spending the winter or just possibly on the way to or from the close continent. Many Goldfinches winter in Britain and whilst some remain close to their breeding areas, others undertake southerly movements. The principal overseas migration is south westerly through France into Iberia where British and Irish birds join other European Goldfinches. The Migration Atlas states that the sex ratios in Britain and Spain in winter suggest that female Goldfinches undertake more migration than males.

It’s just an excuse to show a photograph of a Goldfinch in my garden.



Forest the Bear said...

Phil, thanks for the info on the goldfinch. I did not know that they moved around that much, thought they stayed much more local. Interesting difference between the male and female migration pattern, are there any thoughts as to why this is?


Phil said...

Hi Bear, I guess like other species the males prefer to stay close to or at their territories to make sure they retain the site and get the best female. Thanks for looking in again.

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