A Brambling Redpoll Day

Sunday, February 19th 2017

Tea drinking in the corner and cup washing in the kitchen have been rather slow, as people involved have spent a great deal of time bird watching.  Redpolls and Siskin have been collecting on the Nyger seed feeders, whilst Bramblings have joined flocks of Chaffinches under the feeders. 

Twenty five new Redpolls were caught, including a control.  (A bird ringed elsewhere.) Those of us who thought we had seen a Mealy Redpoll were rewarded by two being processed.  A male, with a dark red head and chest and probably a female, although with a red head, no red on her chest.  The red feathers develop as the birds come into breeding condition, with the white ends to the feathers wearing away leaving the red colour on show.  (Black-headed Gulls and Reed Buntings undergo the same process to get their black heads.)

Mealy Redpolls

Siskins are often to be found feeding with the Redpolls.


Over the last few weeks Brambling have been seen in numbers, but on ringing days they have disappeared, not so today as 17 were newly ringed.


Greenfinch numbers have decreased, but over the last few months more sightings have been recorded and four were ringed during the session.


Birds are starting to sing to set up their territories.  This Robin caught my eye as I walked through the Scrapes to the lake


Other sightings included Primrose in flower, a Peacock butterfly and Common Frogs in the pond by Risedale Beck.

Thank you to everyone who helped today, ringing, greeting visitors, making tea, washing up, bringing sausage rolls and tidying up.

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