Monday, 30 January 2012

Granby, Sunday 29 January

Duncan, Libby, Pete and myself made visit ten to Granby today. Again, we had cold, calm and overcast weather; ideal for ringing. There were few birds about other then a few small flocks of Fieldfare, several hundred Wood Pigeons feeding on rape seedlings and the local 'yaffle'.

The frost brought the Yellowhammers in again and they dominated the catch with 32 handled. Star birds were the first Song Thrush and Reed Bunting of the winter. The Song Thrush or 'Mavis' as they're known in East Anglia was the fifth for the site and first for three years. Three of the Song Thrushes have been ringed on various 31 Decembers! The Chaffinches dropped from 20 on the last visit to to six this time. Nearly half the Blue & Great Tits were new birds, whereas on last few visits they were virtually all retraps. This often happens mid-winter; not sure what it means.

The full catch was 78 birds (53 new / 24 retrap). All the retraps were from this and last winter bar a 5 yo Blue Tit and 3 yo Yellowhammer. Full catch numbers were (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/-, Robin 2/2, Song Thrush 1/-, Blackbird 4/1, Blue Tit 5/6, Great Tit 6/8, Treecreeper -/1, Chaffinch 5/1, Yelllowhammer 27/5, Reed Bunting 1/-.

The plan is to return to Granby next weekend, as well as possibly going for the HPP Reed Bunting roost on Saturday.


A nice pair of tits. (male left, female right) (PML)

 An intriguing retrap Robin, known to be an adult and with a dark interior to the upper mandible, yet with four slightly shorter outer greater coverts each supporting a thorn (though these are the orange typical of adults, one would not normally see an abrupt end to the thorns, but a gradual decreas in size across the coverts). Furthermore, it appeared to have two ages of tail feather with those on the bird's right hand side being rather thing and pointed and those on the left being broad and rounded! If you think you can explain this - leave a comment!  (PML)

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