Ian, Duncan and I battled through the snow flurries to Granby this morning. It was nice for the field margins to be firmer and my fears of getting stuck receded. The snow soon stopped and we had watery sunshine for a couple of hours before the fog closed in. It was noticeable we only caught finches & buntings prior to the fog. For the first time that I can recall we caught more Reed Buntings than Yellowhammers. Perhaps another sign that the former is making a bit of a recovery, whereas not encouraging with the Alabamas*. They may still be on the stubbles etc and up to now the weather's being mild. With a week of sub-zero temperatures coming up it'll be interesting to see if we get more Yellowhammers next weekend.
Bar the buntings, we steadily caught 55 birds from the usual suspects. It was half 'n half between new and retrap birds. The only retraps of note were a 7 year old female Chaffinch that had not been caught since it's original ringing on 22/01/2006, and a Blue Tit from 2008. Totals were (new/retraps): Blackbird 4/0, Robin 3/3, Dunnock 4/1, Blue Tit 2/6, Great Tit 3/15, Chaffinch 7/1, Reed Bunting 4/0, Yellowhammer 1/1.
* In case you were wondering . . . the Yellowhammer State. During
the Civil War a company of Alabama soldiers decked their uniforms with
yellow trimmings that resembled the wing patches of the yellowhammer,
the state bird (Northern Flicker).