Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yellow And Gold

A steady and unhurried ringing session at Rawcliffe saw Will and I catch another 28 birds this morning. After the windy north westerlies of the early week the overnight change to a more southerly wind direction did not produce evidence of a hoped for rush of new migrants, with our catch made up of mainly nyger feeding birds. It was probably the very grey and overcast, rain threatening start that had a bearing on the lack of newly arrived species.

The 28 birds were made up of 18 new birds and 10 recaptures: New were 13 Goldfinch, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chaffinch and 1 Yellowhammer. Recaptures: 6 Goldfinch and 4 Willow Warbler.

So the theme this morning was birds of yellowish hues, mainly the Goldfinches, as we pushed our captures of this species to over 80 at the farm this year. Surprise bird of the morning was a fine second calendar year male Yellowhammer found in the net where a still stocked Pheasant feeder is close by - Yellowhammers have a preference for wheat, particularly in the early part of the year.


Willow Warbler


During a lull in the ringing proceedings a walk through the plantation revealed at least 10 singing Willow Warblers. The six Willow Warblers we caught were all males and in 2011 we have yet to catch a due-any-day female. Like previous recaptures already this year, male Willow Warbler 8U8492 has a history from this site in 2008, 2009, 2010, and now in 2011. Two others had history from last year only, with the fourth one records from 2008 and 2009.

Overhead migration was poor this morning, limited to a few Swallows, a lone Whimbrel, several Meadow Pipits and a handful of Linnets.


Upon leaving the farm I noted for the second time this week a pair of Yellowhammers close to where a pair bred last year. Nearby a male Kestrel lurked near a very suitable tree cavity which is also close to last year’s nest site; time to unhook those ladders hanging in the garage.


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