Maybe the blog’s been a little repetitive lately, all the same old stuff for weeks on end, Chaffinches, Bramblings and Goldfinches, together with a glut of Reed Buntings to vary the diet of finches. Well that’s how winter is around here, slogging away at the regular stuff out Rawcliffe way until March and April when the excitement suddenly switches to birds arriving from Africa.
Today proved much the same but held a welcome surprise together with thoughts that a number of the birds I caught held secrets I could only guess at.
Lighter mornings now mean earlier starts so I was there at 0630 with nets up soon after, followed by a four hour session which yielded 22 new birds with 4 recaptures and to add to the Goldfinch control of Thursday, a further “control” in the shape of a Norwegian ringed Brambling. New birds: 6 Goldfinch, 6 Chaffinch, 4 Brambling, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Fieldfare. Recaptures: 2 Goldfinch, 1 Chaffinch and 1 Brambling.
The Brambling recapture had been ringed here 6th December 2012, so was clearly a wintering bird which joined in with the sometimes huge Chaffinch flocks hereabouts since December of last year.
A fine looking male Brambling I took from one net looked to have a large, dull, possibly foreign ring on its right leg. On closer inspection the ring, ED78766 bore a Stavanger, Norway address. This adult bird must have been ringed in Norway in 2011 or earlier and journeyed south to the UK or elsewhere in the winter of 2011/2012 and now the winter of 2012/2013. Any day now it will surely be heading back to Norway or beyond to spend another summer. The record of today’s capture will be sent to the BTO at the month end with the original ringing details following on in due course.
Two Fieldfares were caught at first light as they exited a roost situated in the dense woodland north of my ringing area. Fieldfares winter here in the UK too with similar times of arrival from Northern Europe and Scandinavia as the Bramblings, as well as comparable times of heading back that way. Very soon we say goodbye to Bramblings and Fieldfares until November. This last week I’ve caught a few good sized Chaffinches, males over 90mm and females 86/87mm wing lengths, all suggestive of European or Scandinavian origin.
Six new Goldfinches today to add to recent ones is very indicative of the species returning north and probably the aforementioned control of Thursday D137544 .
Counts and observations from birding today: Barn Owl at dawn, 18 Redwing, 12 Fieldfare, 3 Buzzard, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, 20 Corn Bunting, 19 Yellowhammer, 130 Chaffinch, 2 Curlew, 2 Mistle Thrush.
There’s more news and views soon from Another Bird Blog - log in again to stay in touch with the world of birds. This post is also linking to Madge's Weekly Top Shot and to Anni at I'd Rather Be Birding.