Saturday, 19 March 2011

Lesser vs Common Redpoll

A ringing session with Mark Thomas last weekend. We caught and I got to ring a new species for me, Common Redpoll.

Above: Common Redpoll.

A comparison between the two birds - the Common Redpoll (aka Mealy) is a lighter and greyer colour and is a larger bird than the darker and browner Lesser Redpoll.

Below: Lesser Redpoll.

New species for SSNR

3 ringing sessions at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve (SSNR) and 3 new species caught.

Session 1: 05/03/11

Totals: 15 birds of 8 species (retraps in brackets)

Coal Tit 1
Great Tit 1 (1)
Blue Tit 2 (1)
Dunnock 1
Chaffinch 2
Long Tailed Tit 1 (3)
Siskin 1
Marsh Tit 1

Having speculated recently that the flocks of Long Tailed Tit's in the area had moved (a new one came in and no evidence of catching any from previous flocks caught & ringed last year), the retrapped Long Tailed Tits in this session came from flocks caught & ringed last year. Speculation proved wrong then!

Above: I had been thinking about the possibility of catching a Marsh Tit here earlier in the morning but had come to the 'highly unlikely' conclusion. Then one arrived in the net!

Above: The new red 'motorway' at SSNR. It's a cycle path really but an odd way of doing it - perhaps it was a case of saving time and/or money as the two sides are uneven & follow the contours already there from vehicle rutting.

Session 2: 12/03/11

Totals: 10 birds of 4 species (retraps in brackets)

Goldfinch 6
Blue Tit 1 (1)
Chaffinch 1
Wren 1

Session 3: 18/03/11

Totals: 15 birds of 7 species (retraps in brackets)

Coal Tit 1
Siskin 1
Goldfinch 2
Chaffinch 5 (1)
Lesser Redpoll 1
Blue Tit 0 (3)
Reed Bunting 1

Above: I'd mentioned to MT the previous weekend that despite there being a lot of Siskin on site, there was no sign of any Redpolls. Then this turned up yesterday! However, from the behaviour (I saw it before catching it) I think it was moving through.

Above: Front view of this Lesser Redpoll. The pointed tail indicates that this bird was born last year (2010).

Above: A surprise in the net, this male Reed Bunting.

Puffin Jigsaw

Predictably, another bird jigsaw! This time of Puffins (as above). One of my volunteers, John, having lent me some jigsaws (see previous posts) has found more to lend me.

On a sad note, I have learned that recently there has been a much higher than normal recovery of dead puffins along the Spanish coast. Puffins have had poor breeding seasons of late due to the decline in their main food source (sand eels). Lets hope 2011 is a better year for Puffins & sand eels.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bucktonbirder: Another Redpoll Control

Bucktonbirder: Another Redpoll Control: "This bird (V204887) which I retrapped with Ed Green on March 12th was originally ringed as an adult female near Drigg Dunes, Ravenglass, ..."