Friday, 17 February 2012

Granby, Thursday 16 February

 A young male Greenfinch - an increasingly rare find in the nets. (PML)

Duncan, Pete and myself made visit 12 of the winter to Granby today. Weather was mild for a change, overcast and a little breezy (but not at the feeders). Bird sightings wise, it was fairly quiet with singleton Linnet, Buzzard and Siskin overhead, about 80 Fieldfare and a dozen or so Skylarks, one or two of which were starting to sing a little.

The mild weather inevitably led a much smaller catch of 65 birds compared to the 150 odd in the snow previously; with Chaffinches and Yellowhammers well down. More than half the birds were retraps, with only one bird, a four year old Blackbird, being ringed earlier than the winter of 2010/11. There were a lot of new tits to ring, and they are maybe moving about more now as they look to take up territories. Probably the highlight of a quiet morning was ringing our fourth Treecreeper of the winter; nae bad considering we've only ringed seven here previously.

Full catch numbers were 30/35 (new/retrap): Dunnock 3/1, Robin 2/3, Blackbird 1/2, Blue Tit 5/9, Great Tit 8/13, Greenfinch 0/1, Chaffinch 2/2, Yellowhammer 5/4, Reed Bunting 2/0.

 Probably the start of a case of viral papilloma - a disease which results in odd deformities of the foot in several species, and regularly in Chaffinches as here. Such birds are released unringed. (PML)

 An interesting case of a growth bar indicating that an individual must be an adult. The feather weaknesses on this Yellowhammer's outer primaries were the same on both wings and the staggered pattern shows that they were grown in sequence and not all together as you'd see on a young bird. (PML)

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