I had noticed large Goldfinch flocks at the site in previous years, usually towards the end of winter, as they come down for the compost and remains of old seed stock from the Naturescape nurseries over the road, which the owners handily scatter liberally throughout the rides.
I was pleasantly surpised to hear calling Lesser Redpoll amongst the circling flocks overhead as I arrived on site at dawn and noticed they were congregating, as finches do, in a 'look-out tree'. So I otped to set my one thirty foot net directly opposite this, literally on top of one of the feeding areas.
When I returned twenty minutes later I was rewarded with a good number of Lesser Redpoll, and more flew into the net as I started to extract! I was particularly pleased to catch this species as I have only handled a few as a trainee, and to have fourteen all in one go allowed me to compare differences and subtleties from bird to bird.
Bird of the morning was a handsome adult male, displaying characteristic 'blushing' plumage on head, cheeks, chest and rump. It was one of three adult birds, the rest were first-years.
I was encouraged to see that the site is continually being managed with wildlife in mind and a number of areas have been created throughout the site which will hopefully help the Grizzled Skipper, which myself, Chris and Pete enjoyed last year.
Adult male Lesser Redpoll
First-year Lesser Redpoll
Conservation work in progress