Yellowhammer & Tree Sparrow (Jackie Lawrence)
Duncan and myself, and special guests Adrian Blackburn and Jackie Lawrence, made the ninth visit to Granby yesterday. At last some nice cold weather to bring the birds in to the feeding station. It was calm, being overcast at first and then bright for most of the session. They were a few thrushes and a Little Owl around as we drove up. Otherwise, the only bird of note was the first Willow Tit sighting of the winter that Adrian heard calling. The sunshine also got the Robins singing.
As we now expect, the frosts brought the Yellowhammers in in good numbers with 12 on the first round and 24 ringed in total. All were first winter birds bar an adult male. The Chaffinches also made their return with 20 processed and, in crude terms, small females (local?) being caught early on and big males (foreign?) being caught later on in the session. The full catch being 59 new birds with 34 retraps. The former being mainly Yellowhammers & Chaffinches and the latter tit retraps. With the cold there were several retraps of older birds (which seem to turn up when they want some dependable food) with two 5 year old birds and 3 & 4 year old Blue Tits together with 6 year old Great Tit and Chaffinch.
Full catch numbers were (new/retrap): Robin 2/3, Blackbird 6/-, Blue Tit -/13, Great Tit 3/13, Treecreeper 1/-, Chaffinch 17/3, Greenfinch 2/-, Bullfinch -/1, Tree Sparrow 4/1, Yellowhammer 24/-.
Lastly - the first pic below is the 1000th Yellowhammer to be ringed at the site!
1000th Granby Yellowhammer (Jim Lennon)
Treecreeper (Jackie Lawrence)
The Blackbird below was a 5M with strange moult - 2ogc on right wing and 6 on left and several replaced inner secondaries.
Blackbird (Jackie Lawrence)