Monday, 4 April 2011
Brackenhurst, Sunday 3 April
A bright sunny morning, and the predicted winds from the south west were lighter than expected at first. We had two sites going with Duncan, Ian (RRB), Libby and myself at the feeding station (and we also opened Orwin's for a while) and Amy, Kev & Mick whoosh-netting up at Home Farm. Overall, we handled 75 birds (seven whooshed) of 11 species, including five Chiffchaffs. With a virtually tit-free catch we had more time to colour ring the Yellowhammers and managed to do 21 birds; many of which had been ringed earlier in the winter.
Yellowhammers accounted for three-quarters of the catch. Orwin's was good for the warblers, and along with the five Chiffs we also had the first Willow Warbler and Blackcap of the year. The oldest retrap was a four year old female Yellowhammer. Can you work out which is which below?
Willow left, Chiff right. (& Common Redpoll in the background...)
Sightings wise, the winter thrushes seem to have gone, but singing warblers were in evidence with several Chiffs, Willow Warbler & Blackcap in song. It was also nice to note a Linnet singing.This first Swallow came over, as did several Meadow Pipits and both Little Owl and Buzzards were around. However, Ian picked up the star bird when he said "That looks like a Red Kite". Which indeed it was, it flew over the sheep field above Orwin's and then rose away on a thermal. This was only the second record for Brack.
Total number of birds processed was 75 (35 new / 40 re-trapped), which is broken down as follows: Blackcap 1/0, Chiffchaff 4/1, Willow Warbler 1/0, Dunnock 1/2, Great Tit 1/2, Blue Tit 0/1, Tree Sparrow 6/0, House Sparrow 1/0, Chaffinch 1/2, Yellowhammer 16/31, Reed Bunting 3/1.