Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Beer Head

Enjoyed another good morning with Peter up Beer Head this morning.  It was windier than I expected, which really affected what is usually my most successful mist net (it was like a sail on a boat!), but thankfully the second net is in a more sheltered location.

There was a different 'feel' to the session, with the first hour or so being all about thrushes, a family of birds I don't usually catch many of at this site.  Smaller birds started dropping in to the mist nets once it had warmed up a little, which took a while!

In about four hours we caught 32 new birds, as follows:

9 Blackbird
2 Song Thrush
1 Redwing (my first for the site - what a cracker!)
1 Blackcap
6 Chiffchaff
11 Goldcrest
1 Great Tit
1 Chaffinch

What a gorgeous bird.

The first Redwing I've handled for years!

Two male Blackbirds, a bird born this year (age code 3) on the left and an adult (age code 4) on the right.

Same as above.

As well as the 32 birds ringed, we re-caught three that I had already ringed.  One was a resident Robin (there aren't many resident birds up here) and interestingly the other two were Goldcrests, one that was ringed on 8th Oct and the other on 14th Oct.  So some of these migrants are lingering and not just going straight though.

We very nearly caught a Woodcock too!  As we were walking up to one of the nets about an hour and a half into the session, completely unexpectedly one took off about 3 meters from the net but flew the wrong way. If only we had walked in from behind it we could well have ringed a Woodcock this morning - now that would have been nuts!  This is actually the first Woodcock I've ever seen at Beer Head, a rare bird for the site.

Overhead passage was quieter than I expected, although four low flying Golden Plover were nice to see.  Didn't see much more in the bushes either, and no further sign of the Dartford Warbler that Ian M saw.

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