Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Opening March

It was out to the moss today, the real beginning, the first of our spring ringing proper and a chance to weigh up if the Niger feeders put up two weeks ago had done the trick for small finches. It was a dull, grey start and nil wind, good for ringing but not necessarily for seeing March migrants but with luck in between ringing a few Goldfinch, Siskin and Redpolls we might see a few more species heading north.

The feeders had certainly worked because we caught 16 Goldfinch, 15 new plus a recapture from last week, a single new Great Tit and other recaptures of a Dunnock and Great Tit, but unfortunately no more variety than that.


Great Tit

Besides approximately 30 Goldfinch seen the plantation was as quiet as we expect in early March, with other species limited to 3 Reed Bunting, 6 Chaffinch, 2 Wren, 2 Long-tailed Tit and a couple of Blackbirds.

The birding was reasonably interesting with a good SE to N passage of approximately 35 Meadow Pipits in mainly twos and threes, and singles of Siskin and Alba Wagtail. We also saw a flock of 40 Fieldfare come from the south west and fly strongly to the north east, calling as they went. A couple of flocks of Curlew also went north, 30 birds in total. “Usual” stuff around the fields comprised singing Skylark and Corn Bunting, still a flock of 90 Woodpigeon and just 2 Buzzards, neither of them venturing skywards on such a dull morning.

On the way off the moss I saw a pair of Grey Partridge and once again found the two pairs of Little Owls now well and truly “at it” in their respective territories and holey trees.

Grey Partridge

Little Owl

A respectable morning’s work for 16th March and from now on the days can only get busier.

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