The unpleasant weather means there was a bit of time to compare some of the October totals with those from the previous year. My hope that things were running a bit later this year seems to be so and lets hope this continues through November. We have not ringed a Sparrowhawk or Rook this year.

The following are the 2019 October totals with 2018 in parenthesis.

Swallow 21 (0), House Martin 65 (0), Robin 143 (44), Fieldfare 10 (17), Redwing 25 (47), Blackcap 349 (290), Yellow-browed Warbler 7 (10), Chiffchaff 581 (207), Goldcrest 402 (80), Firecrest 25 (15), Long-tailed Tit 59 (25), Blue Tit 165 (33), Great Tit 32 (9), Siskin 3 (104), Lesser Redpoll 27 (293).

Obviously a bumper autumn for tits but where are the finches?

In all we ringed 2,221 birds this October compared to 1510 last year and that is despite losing several days to poor weather.

Friday 15th

There was enough of a lull for some nets to go up and the reward was a Buzzard in the Oasis net!

There were also seven Goldcrests and ten retrap Long-tailed Tits. The latter were interesting because they were a mix of birds from at least three different flocks ringed here over the last year.

Buzzard. 15/11/2019. S. Aubrey-Killen

Buzzard. 15/11/2019. S. Aubrey-Killen

Wednesday 13th

Although there was an unexpected breeze at dawn it soon dropped to give a calm, sunny, morning. Migration seems to be drawing to a close but still had enough oomph to yield eight more Blackbirds, two Fieldfare, two Blackcaps and a control Goldcrest.

It looks like Lesser Redpoll are not going to move through in any numbers, the three today met the average.

Tuesday 12th

The breeze was stiffer than expected but from a direction which allowed some ringing and it was dry.

Forty five birds were caught of which 35 were new. Thrushes showed well with 16 Blackbirds, four Song Thrushes, a Fieldfare and a Redwing. Chiffchaffs (2) and Firecrests (1) continue to trickle through and there were five more Goldcrests.

Sunday 10th

Overnight rain followed by a fresher breeze meant there were not many new birds. Fourteen were ringed including a Firecrest and six Blackbirds.

Saturday 9th

Another clear, calm, and frosty start provided good conditions. Only limited netting was possible as there was only one team member available.  Twenty birds were ringed including seven Blackbirds. Most interesting were the ringed birds. The Yellow-browed Warbler ringed at the end of October was retrapped and now has a fat score of five, I am not sure if I have seen a Phylloscopus with such a high score. There was at last a control Blue Tit, considering the numbers moving along the coast it is a surprise this was the first. There was also a Blackbird from elsewhere but its ring was much older.

Friday 8th

A clear sky led to a frosty start followed by a calm,sunny, morning.

Forty four birds were ringed including the first Sparrowhawk of the year, 14 Blackbirds and four Chiffchaffs. The cooler weather has started bringing finches to the feeders and seven Chaffinches were ringed. It will be interesting to find out where the French-ringed Goldcrest control was ringed. Had it just drifted across the Channel or had it made a bigger movement?

Wednesday 6th

It was breezier than expected and this restricted which nets could be used. A warm sun meant spots out of the breeze were very pleasant. Thirty three birds were ringed. Fourteen of these were Blackbirds nearly all of which were larger than our resident birds, with a male with wing length 142 particularly so. There were also five Chiffchaffs all of which did not show a hint, colourwise, of eastern origin. Redpolls of any kind remain very thin on the ground but four Lessers today did include a bird ringed elsewhere in the UK.

Monday 4th

No ringing today due to torrential showers up to dawn. However there is an interesting story to the latest recovery. It involves a Blackcap ringed here on the 16th September 2018. It was found predated on October 20th this year in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, which are 893km SSW. It had been ringed at SBBO by our only French member and ringer (and no he does not live anywhere near where it was found!).

Sunday 3rd

After yesterdays storm today was a beautiful, calm, mild day. Forty four birds were ringed. Blackbird was the leader with 14 followed by eleven Goldcrests. Four Chiffchaffs, two Redwing and a Firecrest provided variety. A retrap Yellow-browed Warbler was a different one to the one on Friday. How many of the eight ringed so far are still in the area? Maybe they will move on if the weather stays settled.

Friday 1st

It was overcast and damp but a small amount of ringing was possible and worth it. Forty two birds were ringed. Of particular note were two Chiffchaffs who took the year total over 1,000, three more Firecrests and eight more Long-tailed Tits. Unsurprisingly, with the weather not favouring migration, one of the Yellow-browed Warblers was retrapped. A Goldfinch ringed elsewhere in the UK was also caught.