The course is now fully booked thank you.
A quick burst before we got on with maintenance tasks yielded eight new birds including the first Fieldfare of the year.
The warm sun burned the heavy frost away and it was a lovely calm morning. Fifteen new and 15 retrap birds were processed. Nine Chaffinches were new and a Collared Dove was also new for the year. The most interesting and unexpected catch was of two female Blackcaps. We have not seen any around over the winter but it is still possible they are birds which have overwintered, perhaps nearby, and are now heading back Germany way. Although the weather is very mild I would be surprised if they are new migrants arriving into the UK. The males tend to be first as they have to set up territories.
Thick fog rolled in and out at first until the sun burnt through mid-morning. It was a successful morning with 22 new birds. A Siskin was the first of the year but 15 Chaffinches made up the bulk. As often happens at this time of year there were some long winged birds indicating a more northern origin.
Although it started clear and sunny fog could be seen nearby and it soon rolled in to drop the temperature. Keeping going was rewarded with 13 new birds and 22 retraps. The highlight was a Ring-necked Parakeet, only the third caught on the Estate. Once again Chaffinch was most frequent with six new birds.
The glorious daytime conditions tempted a large flock of ringers out. The wind was light, as earlier forecasts had suggested, and id not get up until late morning. This meant good net coverage was possible and some more essential tasks were completed.
Thirty one birds were processed of which ten were new. Woodpigeon was new for the year and, as is often the case at this time of year, Chaffinch was the most common with three new and six retraps. An eight year old Reed Bunting put in its second appearance of the year, having not been seen for five years before.
Thanks to North Thames Gull Group who colour ring gulls at Pitsea and provided this map for a bird photographed on the beach here. It was ringed at Pitsea on 21/3/2015 and last seen at Little Marlow, Bucks. on 12/3/2016.
Recovery Map for Herring Gull GV15778
A quiet day unfortunately with only 16 birds. Finches led the way again. There’s been a reasonable turnover of them this winter which shows how birds continue to move outside of the typical migration seasons.
No ringing today but the Warden managed to read the metal BTO ring on a Woodpigeon at the Observatory feeders, only to find out it was ringed by himself two years ago.
The first ringing session of the month provided a nice surprise in the form of a female Kestrel. Further variety was added by Green Woodpecker and Jay whilst seven Greenfinches was a high tally for these parts.