Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Midnight Meanderings.....for Woodcock !!

Unlike our mid-Wales lamping colleagues we are rarely out past midnight !!
A night off tonight due to the weather, below how our fields looked towards the summit of Frenni this afternoon...

With the moon waning we have at last been out with the lamp for the last few nights. Only seven Woodcock caught so far. Disappointing, though we think that our current wintering numbers may be low....
Fieldfares are being encountered in greater than usual numbers ...
Meadow Pipits have provided great interest with our second retrap !

D615995 was ringed on the 25th January 2014, and we re- encountered it on the 9th January 2015.
The wintering environment is hostile up here, and birds must move in periods of ice and snow, so quite amazing to find a site faithful bird re-wintering up here. The Migration Atlas and Bird Atlas suggest that being faithful to a wintering site is expected for Meadow Pipits. Though not far from the coast, wintering at this altitude on grazed upland pastures seems a less favourable strategy....but obviously successful for this bird !!

Last year we re-encountered a Meadow Pipit  on the 21st of March having been ringed on the 24th December, almost three months later in the same fields as the above bird. I discussed at the time may be a returning migrant....perhaps not.

Skylarks are found here too in small numbers,

In my wandering reading this evening  I came across a record of Woodlark in December 1981 in these hills.  We will continue with our (pre-) Midnight Meanderings...

See Ruffled Feathers for more on the all night activities...of Mid-Wales Ringers

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