Wednesday 30th

We had a choice of two forecasts, one was overcast with no rain and a gentle breeze and the other was increasing rain particularly from 0900. These forecasts were ignored and drizzle increased to rain before stopping around 0915. There was a fresh easterly. It was clear that the drizzle had brought a good number of Redwing into the Whitehouse area and so a couple of nets were put up in the hope the first forecast was more correct. We were able to catch four Redwing, a Song Thrush, and a House Sparrow before having to pack up. The Redwing emphasised the fact they were new in by having low fat scores. However they did not hang around and rapidly moved on.

Sunday 27th

Unexpected waves of drizzle meant the session was curtailed with just two new Chaffinches, a retrap Wren, and retrap Robin.

The main event however was the planting of four sapling Silver Birches in the Oasis and four Hawthorns in the Whitehouse. These were kindly donated by the Hill family. Emily and Matthew are keen trainee ringers and it is good to see people looking to the future.

Emily and Matthew Hill planting Birch sapling.

Friday 25th

Thick fog and a touch of frost welcomed us to the day. One would not expect migrants to come down into this and apart from a few Redwing, one of which we caught, they did not. The other new birds were a Robin, two House Sparrows, a Chaffinch and, to add todays splash of colour, a Jay. A few of the birds are beginning to show the first signs of brood patches and cloacal protuberances, as usual a male Dunnock excelled in the latter category.

Thursday 24th

This time there was not just a hint of frost but a thick covering to welcome migrants and ringers at dawn. There was an interesting variety of new birds including two Siskins and a Redwing. New House Sparrows continue to appear with one today demonstrating what a strong population there is around here. We were entertained by a male House Sparrow doing a passable imitation of a Pin-tailed Whydah as it trailed a length of grass over a foot long into a nest box. Having got one end in we watched as the whole length was pulled in haul after haul.

Wednesday 23rd

Not surprisingly after a clear night there was a hint of frost in sheltered spots but this rapidly cleared as the sun warmed things up. Not many migrants are going to stop in such nice conditions but it was worth putting the nets up. Sixteen birds were caught and the two highlights were the second Firecrest of the spring and a Chiffchaff with a ring from somewhere else in the UK. A new Blackbird which was not one of last years birds was an indication of the trickle of thrushes through the area, however several Song Thrushes in the bushes avoided our nets.

Sunday 20th

Yesterday’s wind reduced leaving a clear sunny day. There were nine new and ten retrap birds. The new ones were Blackbird, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, two House Sparrows, and four Chaffinches.

Friday 18th

A lovely sunny day with only a little breeze at first. In these conditions birds such as Siskin were moving but they were very intent on keeping going. Five birds were ringed, two of which were the first migrant Chiffchaffs of the spring. The others were singles of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and Bullfinch.

Wednesday 9th

There was enough of a drop in the wind for some ringing to go ahead. Although there were only seven new birds it was worth it with the first Firecrest of the spring headlining and a Bullfinch as supporting act. The large flocks of Starlings seemed to have moved away from the ringing area and so none were caught.

Saturday 5th

Not a pleasant day today but this photo shows when the weather is okay the birds have spring on their mind. This is one of our colour ringed House Sparrows nest building in a nest box on the side of the Observatory. Keep the photos and colour ring observations coming.

House Sparrow CNT at nest box March 3rd A.Lipczynski

Friday 4th

A very pleasant and calm morning which was great for getting some nets up. Hopes were high for the first Chiffchaff or other early migrant but it was not to be. There was a bit of movement with one or two Redwing and a Redpoll over the ringing area but none of these were tempted to stop for a ring. We caught 29 birds of which 14 were new. Once again House Sparrow was the top species with four new and two retraps. The other new birds were single Robin, Blackbird, Starling (a very glossy adult male) and Goldfinch plus twos of Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch. A retrap Moorhen from the heligoland had been caught there and ringed 15 months ago, but had not been caught in between times.