Stormy weather limited ringing activity but when conditions allowed birds, particularly thrushes, were still moving. Today was clear and not too breezy, the sun still getting the temperature into double figures and tempting a couple of Common Darters out in the Whitehouse. There were plenty of thrushes around but most were busy feeding in the isolated bushes and hedges. Thirty birds were caught, 20 of which were new. Seven Blackbirds, five Redwings, five Lesser Redpolls, two Song Thrushes and a Chaffinch. It was the first session in which we did not catch a Chiffchaff.
There were excellent calm conditions today but 19 new birds did not suggest any significant arrival into the ringing area. Are the Blackcaps (2) we are catching birds which have hung on, as the weather is generally so mild, or are they birds arriving to winter? Hopefully a recovery or two will give a hint. The rest of the new birds were a Dunnock, two Robins, two Blackbirds, a Redwing, three Chiffchaffs, two Goldcrests, a Firecrest, a Blue Tit, three Chaffinches and a Lesser Redpoll.
At one time the forecast for today was positive but come pre-dawn reality showed a windy, cloudy morning. Only a small number of rides could be used and 16 birds were caught of which nine were new. These were a Redwing, two Chiffchaffs, three Goldcrests, two Chaffinches and a Lesser Redpoll.
After some stormy days we had to wait a little in the morning to allow another pulse of rain to pass through before doing some ringing. Thirty-eight birds were ringed and ten retrapped before the wind picked up again. It was an interesting mix. There were 25 Lesser Redpolls, three Redwings, two each of Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, and Chaffinch, and singles of Blackbird, Blackcap, Goldcrest and Great Tit. Some of the Goldcrests seem to be staying around still as three were retrapped.
A lovely calm and clear start to the day meant a frost formed just before sunrise. Rain was not expected until midday but arrived 90 minutes earlier. This was a shame as it was a busy morning due to Lesser Redpolls. We ringed 143 before we had to close down, with plenty of birds still around. There was also a Belgian-ringed adult bird.
Other new birds included six Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, two each of Blackbird and Redwing, plus single Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Chaffinch and Siskin.
It was good to get this brief interlude as the next three days do not look good for ringing.
No-one got it fully right as it did not rain all morning and it was not dry all morning. The day started with a heavy shower but then settled before the wind brought proceedings to an end by late morning. After the shower there seemed to be a few more thrushes around but of the six Blackbirds caught five were retraps. Two of these had not been seen for at least three years but both had been ringed as young birds in July and so not likely to have travelled far. The other new birds were a Redwing, two Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, three Chaffinches, and six Lesser Redpolls.
The two Chiffchaffs both had a high fat score of five and so had not been adversely affected by yesterdays stormy weather.
The Met Office got it correct and the morning started with light wind which increased significantly by late morning. Eleven birds were ringed of an interesting mix - three Lesser Redpolls, two Firecrests, and single Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Redwing and Goldfinch.
One of the Firecrests was notable for its high fat score of four and a weight of just over six grams.