Autumn Migrants

Monday, October 17th 2011

The usual scrutiny of the weather forecasts had taken place on Saturday evening and the email sent, to say ringing was going ahead and to meet at Foxglove at 7am. Thrush and Tawny Owl were amongst the birds calling as the bird ringers arrived.  Dark clouds were around but for a short time the red sky of dawn could be seen.

Dawn

Over 200 birds were processed today, including Wren, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tits, Reed Bunting and Bullfinch.  However the stars of the show were the arrival of our first winter migrants, Redwing and Brambling.

Two juvenile Redwings were caught and ringed.  The red under the wing can just be seen in the photograph below.

Redwing

Bramblings usually arrive in numbers during midwinter, so catching one today was exciting.  It will be interesting to see if more arrive over the next few weeks.  Look for these birds feeding with other finches; this one was a 1st year male.

Brambling

Lesser Redpolls showed off their beautiful plumage, this one was a striking adult male.

Lesser Redpoll

As the nets were taken down and the last birds brought back to the ringing room there was a surprise - a juvenile Kingfisher.  Although all of the birds above had fantastic colours the vibrant blue of the Kingfisher amazed everyone.

Kingfisher

 In summary it was a busy and interesting day with 232 birds caught with Goldcrest being the most common which doesn't happen very often - 23 new ones were ringed. 


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