Friday, 23 October 2015

Beer Head

Very much an end of autumn feel to Beer Head this morning.  The weather was as perfect as it could be with 100% low cloud cover and for the first couple of hours no wind at all.  Despite this there wasn't much moving about in the now pretty baron trees and bushes. Even overhead passage was disappointing with just a few flocks of Chaffinches and Meadow Pipits and very small numbers of the other expected species. 

As a result, it was no surprise that only twelve birds were trapped and ringed this morning. But although there many not have been the quantity, there was some excellent quality including three new species ringed for the site...

A stonking Fieldfare!!

I was really surprised to catch this, because unlike Tuesday (when we put in the same effort as today) there were no thrushes about, we caught no Blackbirds, Song Thrush or Redwing. But this is worth all of them and more in my eyes - my favourite of the regular UK thrushes.  What made this capture even better was that this was a new bird for Peter, and he really deserved a reward for joining me early this morning despite knowing he had to leave prior to 9am.

Peter has a habit of rubbing under his ear when he's excited...

So Fieldfare was the first bird in the nets this morning, and the second was this gorgeous Lesser Redpoll...

In my eyes an even more stunning capture - such a charismatic sweet little bird.

And later in the morning new bird number three dropped in to one of my two nets...

A Treecreeper, and you don't see many of these up Beer Head.  Don't worry I did make sure it wasn't a Short-toed!

The (not very) full list of birds ringed this morning looks likes this:

1 Fieldfare
4 Chiffchaff
2 Goldcrest
1 Great Tit
1 Long-tailed Tit
1 Treecreeper
1 Chaffinch
1 Lesser Redpoll

As well as these, we re-caught three birds, two Goldcrests and a Long-tailed Tit.  One of the Goldcrests we ringed here three days ago, and amazingly in that time had put on a gram in weight. That is a heck of a lot for a bird that weighs about the same as a 20p piece! Really interesting to see how quickly the fat reserves can build up on these tiny birds. 

And whilst on the subject of Goldcrests, I thought it was quite fitting that what could well be the last bird I ring on Beer Head this year (have you seen the weather forecast for next week?) was indeed a Goldcrest...

It's been an amazing autumn for this species.


  1. No no, that's my Usain Bolt!!

    Thanks Steve for a great autumn on Beer Head.


  2. Haha - it does look a but Bolt like!

    Thanks for the help mate, Steve