Ringing: March 2019
No ringing possible today due to the strength of the wind. However news of another movement. This time a Blackcap ringed here on September 15th 2018 and controlled in the Loire -Atlantique region of France on September 27th 2018 which is 512km SSW, a fairly typical direction for a Blackcap heading south for the winter.
We awoke to find there was a heavy ground frost once we could see through the bank of fog. Fortunately the frost cleared quickly but the fog did not role back until late morning. Migrants tend to avoid fog and there were very few around. Twelve birds were ringed including two Chiffchaffs and a Redwing. Chaffinch continues to be the top species but there were only six today. Once again more than 80% are females.
Colder and a bit breezier than forecast but the migration trickle continues. Twenty-seven birds included 15 new ones. The first Firecrest of the year and two Chiffchaffs were the pick of the bunch.
A beautiful, sunny day which was very warm out of a cool, but gentle, easterly. It was also a good morning ringing-wise with 43 birds of which 27 were new. Two Bramblings were pick of the bunch but new singles of common species such as Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blue Tit and Great Tit indicate a return passage.
No-one available to ring today but we have had news of two very interesting movements.
The first is of a Firecrest. It was ringed here on November 9th 2017 and was last re-trapped on the 19th of that month. It was caught in France, just across the Channel, at Dunes du Fort Vert a year later on the 6th November 2018. There have only been nine British ringed Firecrests recovered abroad and surprisingly only two of these are to France.
The second is of a Robin ringed here on the 10th October 2010 and caught by a ringer in Sardinia, Italy on November 7th 2011. Although it took a long time for this record to come through it is very interesting. It is only the second British ringed Robin to Italy and the first to Sardinia.
Another overcast day but there was no repeat of yesterdays activity. Fifteen birds were caught of which ten were new. Chiffchaffs continue to trickle in with three new birds today.
The cunning ploy of someone ringing on a day when we normally cannot get ringers at this time of year worked. Forty birds were captured of which 18 were new. The highlights were five Chiffchaffs and nine re-trap House Sparrows. This probably the biggest haul of the latter as re-traps since we started the RAS project on House Sparrows.
Although not as calm as forecast it was still possible to net. Sixteen birds were caught of which ten were new. This included a Redwing, a Chiffchaff and a Siskin, so a nice variety.
Although it started fairly calm and clear an unexpected light breeze picked up and cloud gathered. Twenty four of the twenty eight birds caught were new. Nineteen Chaffinch made up the bulk and two thirds of these were females. A Goldcrest was the first for the year.
With reports of nests elsewhere and plenty of singing around here we continued to check the nest boxes. The main sign of activity was woodpecker enlargement of the entrance holes and we have started fitting more metal plates to protect them but need more to be kindly donated. One or two boxes did have some fresh moss in the bottom.
After so much windy weather there was enough of a drop to get a few nets up although a brief sleet shower wrapped the session up. Eighteen birds were caught of which 13 were new. Two Chiffchaffs were the first for spring and three new House Sparrows continued to indicate a healthy population around here. There was also a Blue Tit with a ring from another group.
In the lull before the storm it was good to get the nets up. Thirty birds included 18 new ones. Chaffinch, with seven, was top and a Redwing and a Siskin were perhaps starting to head back north.
Due to illness the chance to ring this morning was unavoidably missed. However the trickle of information about recoveries continues.
One involves confirmation of a colour ringed Black-headed Gull. This was seen on the Estate on December 22nd 2018 and had been ringed 312km to the west at Stevensweert, Netherlands on April 19th, 2014.
The second is a Blackcap ringed here on September 7th 2017 and taken by a cat near Barcelona, 1066km south, on February 24th this year. Presumably it was heading back to this country.