There was a notable change in the temperature whilst we were Ringing this weekend, especially this morning. It was absolutely freezing first thing, and when the sun come up it only barely warmed things up! But at least the regular checking of the nets kept us warm. There were over 50 new birds Ringed over the two days, with an obvious movement of Thrushes being noticeable. The majority of these being Blackbirds, but we also had a few Song Thrush and Redwing. There were also a lot of Finches passing through, including flocks of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin - always nice to see. On saturday we had a great surprise when we had no fewer than three absolutely stunning WOODCOCKS in the nets, and another just missing the nets. Neither myself nor John had Ringed one before so thankfully there were enough for us not to fight over who got to do the Ringing! I actually got to Ring another new bird on saturday as well, and this one was an incredible incident. The bird in question was a beautiful young Sparrowhawk, but when Adrian went to get it out of the net he noticed that it had a half eaten Redwing still in its claws!!! It was a bizarre sight. It had obviously just caught the Redwing and started munching away when we disturbed it and it flew straight into the net, still holding onto its lunch. Incredibly the Redwing was one of the birds we had Ringed earlier on that morning.
Away from the netting area, a nice flock of SNOW BUNTINGS were up and down the coast. When I saw them early on the morning there were only four birds but Steve had noted at least eleven later in the day. And adding to the winter theme there were big movements of Geese and Swans flying noisily overhead. A great sight and sound.
SPARROWHAWK (top) SISKIN (second pic) WOODCOCK (third pic) & SNOW BUNTING (bottom)