Blackthorn blossom (PML)
Spring was certainly in the air, but Granby being Granby, I still had me thermals on and was glad for it. Jim, Ian & I had a very pleasant morning with a steady trickle of birds, although only 8 of the 40 caught were new and all the Yellowhammers were retraps, despite there having been 19 new birds ringed only 4 days ago!
Red Dead-nettle, Cowslip & Dog Rose (PML)
One of the first birds caught was an odd young Yellowhammer. It was fairly yellow, yet with a wing of 81 was a female on size. It seemed to have replaced its outer tail feathers and the old juvenile ones showed a fault bar. It had replaced a single tertial on each wing that also had growth defects and it had also replaced the 9th primary on the right wing. Like many young Yellowhammers it showed a moult limit between the smallest and middle alula feathers.
5F Yellowhammer (PML)
Next oddity was a Blue Tit with a grey wash on its face and belly. If anyone has any idea what causes this, let us know!
A young male Great Spotted Woodpecker was the first since 2007 and the first non-passerine of the winter. It also did an excellent job of helping Ian rid himself of several mls of blood.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (top 3 PML, bottom JL)
Two Greenfinches were the first in Spring for three years and the best retraps of the day were a Yellowhammer from 2001 and a Chaffinch from 2005.
Full catch numbers were 8/32 (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Blue Tit 1/2, Great Tit 1/10, Chaffinch 3/9, Greenfinch 2/0, Yellowhammer 0/11.
Away from the nets, one Swallow, one Willow Warbler and a couple of Chiffchaffs were the only incoming migrants noted. About 45 Redwing and half a dozen Fieldfare came over, along with a steady trickle of Meadow Pipits. A couple of Lapwings were knocking about and at least three different Buzzards were seen.
Badget sett & skull (PML)
As can be seen from the above, the badgers continue their empire-building (at some cost).