Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Brackenhurst, Sunday 8 December

Another marvellous dawn met us at Brackenhurst this Sunday, but this time we also had a yellow card from the shepherd which meant increasing blustery south-westerly winds. Our ringing team grew again, and included (left to right in pic) Gary, Duncan, Pete S, Kev, Chris (from Tring RG), Liz, Emma, Tom, Sue and myself (behind the camera...).

It being 8 degrees warmer and more blowy than previously, conditions did not make for quite such a good catch. However, we still managed 73 birds, which were split equally between being ringed and unringed.

Orwin's was sheltered from the wind and the 'magic' sound lure brought in another 10 Redwing. It's very nice to catch more than just the odd one, and a have a look at the moult on first winter and adult individuals. The bird below had several old greater coverts as well as fault bars in the remiges and rectrices.

The Blue and Great Tits kept coming, but the mild, windy weather attracted fewer Chaffinches and Yellowhammers. However, 'star bird' was a first winter male Brambling. Note the old alula and primary coverts.

(All photos by JL)

Totals for individual species ringed/retrapped (37/36): Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 4/6, Great Tit 4/16, Dunnock 3/1, Blackbird 0/1, Redwing 10/0, Robin 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/4, Brambling 1/0, Chaffinch 3/2, Yellowhammer 7/6.


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