Friday, 23 December 2011

Granby, Wednesday 21 December


Duncan, Libby, Pete and I made the fifth visit to Granby on Wednesday. Weather was calm, damp and overcast for the whole session.

More variety this time with 13 species caught. The full catch was 28 new birds with 30 retraps. Though the catch at the feeders was poor compared to recent weeks as the majority of the the catch came from the additional nets we put up along the railway track bed. This may be down to the milder weather, but there was a big drop in the number of Chaffinches about and only one was caught & ringed this time (also noted in the Retford area). The extra nets produced our best ever catch of Long-tailed Tits with a flock of 18 birds processed. Six of the Lotti's had been ringed last winter, including five in the same catch in November 2011. So, they seem to have fared quite well in the harsh cold last winter. Also of note was four first winter Bullfinches in the track nets. That's now six so far this winter compared to to 14 ringed over the last 10 years at Granby.

Note the male's 4 and the female's 5 retained juvenile greater coverts.

We seem to have the entire local population of Great Tits marked as none were ringed on the day for a change. Full catch numbers were (new/retrap): Wren -/1, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 2/2, Blackbird 2/-, Goldcrest 1/1, Long-tailed Tit 12/6, Blue Tit 3/5, Great Tit 0/9, Chaffinch 1/0, Goldfinch 1/-, Bullfinch 4/-, Tree Sparrow 2/-, Yellowhammer 3/-.

This young Goldfinch had retained 4 juvenile greater coverts, obvious with their buff, not yellow, tips.

One of the best sightings of the day was a particularly bold weasel which came very close to us, although you wouldn't think so judging by the terrible pictures...

There wasn't much else around to see, though a few flocks of Fieldfares and the odd Redwing were still stripping the last few hawthorn berries.


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