28 Mar 2012

More migration action.

The anticyclonic weather conditions covering the UK has meant some fair weather for our summer migrants travelling back from Africa. The big fear is now that the dry conditions will mean little insect food for them when they arrive here to rear their young. The clear skies at night have meant there has been a touch of mist early morning meaning that migrants get grounded and the small area of trees around the house has been ringing to the song of migrant Chiffchaffs every morning for the past week.

Hilbre has had its share of migrants wit ha good passage of Chiffchaffs continuing but finch numbers have been exceptional - Redpolls in particular!

It has been interesting to see these birds in the hand and following the Mealy (Common) Redpoll last week we've caught another bird that may or may not be either a 'Greenland Redpoll' (rostrata) or 'Icelandic Redpoll (icelandica). Either way both are races of Common Redpoll.

The photo below shows the typical undertail coverts i.e. streaky,  of Lesser Redpoll compared to the Mealy in my last post.

Its also been interesting to check the'poll' colour of these birds and they range from orange through to red. They are gorgeous little finches.

Other finches are also passing overhead and we've been catching the occasional Greenfinch such as this adult male.

Wheatear passage so far has been slow but I was lucky enough to ring this male bird born last year undertaking its first return migration. Its awesome to think how far these migrants are travelling.

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