Ringing: November 2018
There had clearly been a clear out of thrushes as there was little activity as the nets went up. The morning started with a breeze before dawn then it calmed before a stiff breeze forced an end to the session. Forty birds were ringed with 25 Lesser Redpoll leading the way, there were also two of these with rings from elsewhere in the UK. Another flock of new Long-tailed Tits resulted in eight being ringed. The almost daily Firecrest arrived and there were also two more Redwing.
No-one available today so news of another gull control. This time a Herring Gull ringed on Margate beach on 23/12/2009 and read in the field in Boulogne 7/11/2018. Well done to the French observer.
The forecast last night was 30% chance of showers. So when I arrived I chanced putting up a few nets. In the meantime the meteorologist obviously put their head out of the window and upped the chance to 90%. This pre-empted a day of heavy squalls and blustery winds. In the brief time the nets were up ten birds were caught but only three were new, a Song Thrush and two Goldctrests.
With gusty squalls piling through there was no ringing so I will mention two non-passerine recoveries of note.
Both relate to colour rings, so keep recording them.
The first is of a Cormorant, red 2L6, whose ring was read whilst it sat around on New Downs Pools at the start of November. It had been ringed on June 10th this year at Mageoerne in Denmark.
The second involves a Herring Gull which was first ringed in Ramsgate on 13/2/2007. It was recaught at the Pitsea landfill site on 15/11/2014 when a colour ring was added. It was then resighted in Ramsgate on 22/12/2014 ( not sure why it took so long for this information to come through).
The forecast wind and rain was three hours late but ringing was still not possible.
There has been a steady trickle of information about ringed birds and I will save the non-passerines for another day. Birds continue to trickle along the south coast before presumably leaving near here. All are birds of this year and include two Blackcaps, one from Ballard Down, Dorset and one from Upton,Worcestershire Two Chiffchaffs came from different parts of West Sussex. From further afield a Lesser Redpoll came from Wintersett, Yorkshire ( 324 km NW ) and a Sand Martin came from Meikle Tarty, Aberdeenshire ( 709km NNW ).
It was much calmer than forecast for the first half of the morning and so it was a good session.
With the weather being so unpredictable so is the ringing. What wind there was was southerly yet there were 20 new Goldcrests. We normally expect these when there is some north or east in the wind. There was yet another new Firecrest, a Redwing and two more Blackcaps.
It would be really interesting to find the journeys of these Firecrests and are Blackcaps changing their journeys, or is it late birds surviving due to the mild conditions? Blackbirds are obviously enjoying the berries because as well as six new ones there were eleven retraps.
The forecast wind was not around first thing and it was a calm, mild, start. There were no clouds of smoke to compete with either. In these mild, southerly, conditions it was a surprise to catch 13 Goldcrests, two Firecrests were less of a surprise. In the mild weather the Redpoll movement seems to have ground to a halt.
A frustrating morning. Dawn arrived with a much stiffer breeze than forecast. This seemed to encourage one of our neighbours to start burning their garden waste forcing us to take nets down in thick clouds of smoke. Nine birds were ringed including another Firecrest, a Blackcap and a Redwing.
It started calm enough for ringing but it looks as if the weather is turning much more unsettled. Thirty nine birds were ringed. Fifteen Lesser Redpolls and six Blackbirds led the way. Three Redwing and two Chiffchaffs added variety.
The heaviest frost of the autumn was quickly burnt off as the sun got up but it stayed calm longer than forecast. Forty six birds were ringed plus 15 retraps. The highlight was the second Common Redpoll of the autumn, another big bird with a wing of 80mm. More unexpected were two more Blackcaps, again females. Despite having ringed more than 250 House Sparrows this year new ones keep appearing with six getting colour ringed today. Hopefully people will start reading the numbers again whilst sitting in the observatory.
The weather is swinging rapidly from one thing to another. After yesterdays wash out today dawned calm and frosty. It could never live up to Wednesday but it was still a good days ringing with 57 new birds. Blackbirds led with 23 but Lesser Redpolls were down to 16. There were also two Siskins, one of which had been ringed elsewhere in the UK. The only Firecrest was a retrap from Wednesday.