Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Granby, Sunday 5 February

A decent catch (MIB) 

Duncan, Ian and myself made the eleventh winter visit to Granby yesterday. The snow-covered ground made for (as Pete predicted), a record-breaking morning and it proved so. The cold, calm and overcast weather and covered ground all made for ideal ringing at the Granby feeders. I'd been out in the week to fix up the vandalised hoppers and stick more apples on the hawthorn spikes (only stabbed meself the once). However, none of the apples were left on the Sunday and I imagine the local badgers were on a sugar rush. Birdwise, there were a few thrushes about, c15 Skylarks flew over when the sun broke through and there was also a solitary Lapwing, as well as small flocks of Yellowhammers heading towards the feeders.

5F Fieldfare (MIB)
The apples may have worked in that we caught the first Fieldfare of the winter (ninth for the site) and another Song Thrush (sixth for the site), and eight Blackbirds (one was ringed four years ago). There was an upsurge in Great Tits, but with only two of the 24 captures unringed this time. The oldest of them being four years old. Blue Tit T513715 made her fifth appearance of the winter and the twelfth in all since being ringed nearby as a nestling on 20 May 2006. The Chaffinches were on the upswing this time with 35 birds processed. The best of the 13 Chaffinch retraps was P888368, which had been ringed at Granby as a juvenile on 20/01/2002, and had only been re-caught once in between. At just over 10 years old, it's not far off the Britain and Ireland longevity record of 11y 7m 21d set in 1990. As we now expect in such conditions, there were plenty of Yellowhammers early on with 25 of the 44 birds handled being extracted on the first two net rounds. The oldest Yellowhammer had been ringed five years previously. The Reed Bunting catch of 15 birds equalled last winters best ever day total. One of the retraps was from three years ago, which is a record for the site. Half the Reed Buntings ever ringed at Granby have been caught there in the last 12 months. It's encouraging that there are more about, and chimes with their 26% increase in the East Midlands over the last 15 years reported by the BTO's Breeding Bird Survey. As is often the case the more interesting retraps appeared later in the day. The more experienced birds seems to head for likely food sauces when the weather's hard. Oh, and we almost had a female Sparrowhawk, but it escaped the net just before Ian could get to it!

adult Song Thrush (MIB)
Full catch numbers were 81/70 (new/retrap): Wren 0/1, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 2/7, Blackbird 6/2, Fieldfare 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Blue Tit 2/8, Great Tit 2/21, Chaffinch 22/13, Yellowhammer 33/11, Reed Bunting 11/4.

Reed Bunting (MIB)

I won't be going to Granby this weekend as have visitors. However, a visit there mid-week, the HPP Reed Bunting roost and orchard thrushes near Retford are all in the offing this week. Please contact me if interested in any of these.

adult male Blackbird (MIB)

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