It was no surprise to be met with a hard frost this morning. How else do we expect to be welcomed to Granby? I can almost feel my toes as I type, but the first session of the season at the Granby Fridge Experience did not do anything to shake its polar reputation.
Jim, Duncan and I spent a while sorting out nets and guys in the twilight as thrushes trickled out of their roost sites and smaller birds started going into the nets before we'd finished. A promising start, but as is often the case with these early November sessions, it wasn't to last and we finished on 35 birds of 10 species, 11 of them retraps.
Totals as follows (new/retrap): Robin 4/0, Dunnock 0/1, Wren 2/0, Blackbird 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 2/9, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Treecreeper 2/0, Chaffinch 9/0.
The morning was unquestionably beautiful with clear blue skies and almost no wind. Highlights in the hand were two Treecreepers, a Goldcrest and a retrap Great Tit from Dec 2007. Interesting to note that of the 11 Great Tits caught, only the 2 new birds were youngsters and the rest were retrap adults. One wonders if this will continue to be the case through the season, indicating a poor breeding season for the species.
Other sightings included single Jay, Heron and Cormorant overhead, 80 Lapwing, 200+ Fieldfare and 120+ Redwing, 3 Bullfinch, 10+ Linnet, a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.