Mist and Migration

Monday, November 21st 2011

As the shortest day draws near so the time of arrival at Foxglove allows for a little lie in!  A very cool, misty morning greeted the ringers at 0745.  The sun was rising and started to shine through the mist as the nets were put up. 

Misty morning

An early morning walk revealed a world usually hidden. Spiders had been very busy overnight spinning their fantastic webs and the mist had adorned them with sparkling droplets of water.

Spider's web covered in droplets of water

A Seven Spot Ladybird had taken refuge in a seed head, close to a web,  and it also was covered in dew drops.

Seven Spot Ladybird

The sun rose and the mist lifted as the first birds were returned to the ringing room.  A bird not seen at Foxglove before was removed from a bag.  Whenever a “special bird” is brought into the ringing room, names go into a hat - well a bird bag - and a name is drawn for that person to ring it.  Jenny's name was drawn and so started the process to confirm the bird's identity.

It was a Yellow-browed Warbler which had come from Siberia.  This is yet another new species to add to the list.

Yellow Browed Warbler

It was not the only bird that had travelled many miles.  Fifteen new Blackbirds, some likely to be from the continent, and three Redwing were ringed. There was discussion as to whether these migrant birds would remain within Foxglove or head further south.  Time will tell if they are retrapped.

Our resident birds also made a show as we retrapped a 6 year old Great Tit who had not been recorded since 2005 - where has he been during the interim?  Also an 8 year old Blue Tit was processed having first been ringed in December 2003.  And finally another Blackcap was caught.  This species is a summer migrant but some are now overwintering in this country - will we catch him again?

In total 194 birds were processed. 

Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make the day a success.

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