After the past week of sunshine and high temperatures, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Spring had sprung good and proper. But when Jim, Jenny, Duncan and myself arrived on site, it appeared that the Granby fridge had a long way to go before fully defrosting; with numb fingers and tingling noses we set up swiftly and headed back to base for a cup of joe.
Best retraps of the morning included Great Tits from 2008 and 2009 as well as Yellowhammers, again from 2008 and 2009. Two-thirds of the new birds were Yellowhammers overall, and with a good steady catch throughout the morning it was nice to be able to take the time to examine them in detail and sharpen our bunting skills.
The highlight of the day was a Chiffchaff, a first for the site which made its way into the nets at the slightly warmer, sun-blessed end of the track. There was some discussion over the presence of this bird and whether it had anything to do with the Willow SRC (Short Rotation Coppice) in the adjacent field.
By the time the sun broke through, the sound of Skylark, Meadow Pipits and Golden Plover filled the air. A lone Greylag and a drifting Buzzard were also present.
Full catch numbers were 26/37 (new/retrap): Chiffchaff 1/0, Tree Sparrow 3/0, Dunnock 0/3, Robin 0/1, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 0/9, Chaffinch 1/2, Yellowhammer 19/20, Reed Bunting 2/1.