Saturday 20 April 2013

Saw-whet Owl to start and news closer to home...

Richard has arrived at Long Point Bird Observatory in Canada where he will be banding for 6 weeks. The first bird he ringed was handed to him by the bat researchers - a Northern Saw-whet Owl, just 8 inches tall and around 80g!
Some highlights from his first day of banding...
28 Hermit Thrush, 18 Brown Creeper, 14 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, very early Wood Thrush, American Tree Sparrow and Fox Sparrow.
White-eyed Vireo was an excellent bird to catch as only four were banded last spring. Also interesting as we caught one in Costa Rica in November, an uncommon migrant beyond its normal range as described by CRBO

White-eyed Vireo
Meanwhile back at home we have been busy with garden ringing and a few sessions on the Teifi marsh.
Last week saw an influx of Goldfinches with large numbers at feeders across the county.
With very windy conditions it was impossible to open a mist net but 44 were caught in a small Potter trap over a couple of days. Interestingly these were heavy birds carrying a lot of fat the heaviest being 20.9g.
Now that this passage has gone the local birds including retraps from previous years are much lighter and carrying no fat.
Siskins are still being ringed too with females having brood patches and males not carrying fat. Hopefully there is a healthy breeding population nearby. It was a surprise to catch this control male with a Belgian ring, the second this year.
An unusually high number of Jays are still around too and another one was ringed in the garden this week.
On the marsh while catching White Wagtails we caught our first Sedge Warbler of the year and another few this morning. No Reed Warblers yet but we will out in the reed bed whenever weather permits hoping for the safe return of our many site-faithful birds.

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