Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Whitethroats

Bang on cue for April 16th our first spring Whitethroat at Rawcliffe was in a mist net on the very first net round at 0630 this morning, soon followed by a second bird. Unsurprisingly both were males, and soon after release the two broke into scratchy song further up the track when the rising sun cleared early mist.


It was a very quiet session with just 18 birds caught, 11 new and 7 recaptures. New: 2 Whitethroat, 5 Goldfinch, 3 Willow Warbler and 1 Chaffinch. Recaptures: 4 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch and 1 Willow Warbler.

Another first for our spring came in the shape of female Willow Warblers, with 3 caught today, 2 of them new to us and the recapture AVC209 first ringed in summer 2010 as a breeding female. As yet we probably have less returning Willow Warblers than last year but another week or two of returning birds may change that picture.

Willow Warbler

Our hoped for visible migration turned to invisible migration with from first light, less than 20 Meadow Pipit, 5 Redpoll, 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 House Martin and 3 Swallows over but certainly heading north. Several Linnets flying over intermittently whilst refusing to be caught were from a recently arrived flock of 30+ birds on nearby stubble.

Otherwise two separate Sparrowhawks and a single Kestrel were from local stock, as were 4 Grey Partridge and 2 Corn Bunting faithful to the ditch and bramble adjacent to our ringing station.

Corn Bunting

So it was a slightly disappointing result in terms of numbers but not quality of species; all the more reason to try again tomorrow then?

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