22 Apr 2013

Redpolls? Lump em.

After Fridays excitement of the Blue-winged teal expectations were high that another rare bird might be found locally with Hoopoe being casually discussed. Sure enough one was seen flying in off the sea at Red Rocks but, until now, hasn't been relocated.

Saturday saw us back before dawn at Barry's place in Burton for a final ringing session of the 'winter'. Scott Reid joined John & me for what turned out to be a fairly quiet session by Hesti standards but with some interesting birds. Winter was definitely a misnomer as the weather was gorgeous. Blue skies and sunshine - it was a pleasure to sit outside the ringing shed and feel the sun on your back for a change.

First up was a Magpie  - a garden first and probably deadlier with its mouth than Suarez as the cuts on my hand will bear testimony to.

A 2nd calendar year bird it rapidly introduced Scott to one of the perils of ringing when it managed a beak full of flesh. Next up was a long awaited female Brambling for John. Despite me trying to persuade him his wife wanted him home he refused to be swayed and managed
to ring this one himself. Bramblings are lovely birds and quite chunky close up.

Another Hesti garden first was provided by this Willow Warbler.
A few wintering finches were still around with a small number of Siskins and Redpolls present although the majority have now moved off to their breeding grounds. Amongst the Redpolls was this bird which the biometrics put in the 'Common' range. Redpolls are notoriously difficult even in the hand and the IPMR programme we use to input all the ringing data has an entry for Redpoll species as well as Common & Lesser!
It'll be entered as Redpoll sp.
A great day rounded off with a visit by Colin Wells and a bottle of Barry's stash of Islay bitters. Lovely stuff and just the thing to quench the thirst after a busy mornings ringing.
By contrast to Saturday Sunday's weather was pretty poor and most of it was spent helping with decorating at my parents in laws house. I did manage to get out for a quick walk between rain showers and picked up my first Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat of the year. As in Barry's garden the finch numbers are down but a few Siskins are coming in including this photogenic bird

A pair of un-ringed Bullfinches are also fairly regular  -  I ringed a pair last spring and these are obviously different birds. I've also had a few Redpolls visiting in the last week - a very rare visitor for me. I managed to catch 4 in a quick ringing session in the evening  - including a cracking male Common Redpoll. photo's to follow in another post.

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