First Winter Migrants

Sunday, October 21st 2018

Over the last few days there have been reports of Redwings and Fieldfares in Foxglove.  They have come to feast on the good crop of Hawthorn and Rowan berries.  We did not expect to catch any today but three were newly ringed.  You can see where the Redwing gets its name from.


We also caught and ringed nine new Goldcrests.  These tiny birds weigh about 5g.  This is a male, which can be recognised by the orange feathers on its head.


Another small bird is the Long-tailed Tit.

Long-tailed Tit

IPMR, the data handling programme for the bird ringing data, picks up any anomalies in the data entered.  By this time of the year it assumes that all the juveniles should be age coded 3, meaning that they were hatched this year.  I received an automatic warning that I had entered incorrect data when adding this Bullfinch that was still a 3JP, meaning that it was still in post juvenile moult.  I replied stating that the data I input was correct!  As you can see from the photograph below, this young Bullfinch is still getting its adult feathers, so is in a state of disarray and looks like he has been in contact with poster paint!  He will not be too long out of the nest!

Juvenile Bullfinch

Redpolls arrive on the reserve during the autumn and winter, sometimes in large numbers.  Not having caught many so far this season nine were ringed today.  The males have a red 'poll' (head) and a red breast.

Male Redpoll

Adding to the list of new birds ringed were 15 Blue Tits!  Coal Tits, another bird that comes to Foxglove over the winter, are still arriving.

Thank you very much to everyone who helped today.

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