tirsdag den 29. april 2014


An amazing day with not a breath of wind, sunny and warm and even more exciting, the wind (a merest, faint caress of a breeze!) had switched round from the NE and was SW for most of the day and produced a much better morning's ringing - typical, as everyone else has left!   A total of 71 birds were caught with the vast majority coming in the first few hours until the sun was full on the nets; they included 20 Willow Warblers, 2 Redstarts, a Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 6 Lesser Redpolls, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a late Redwing.

'who, what me? I haven't been anywhere near any flowers, honest!'

This beast of a Woodpecker dwarfed the ones we get in the UK, it felt huge in the hand with a wing of 140 and a massive weight of 98.9g!   We do get occasional irruptions of 'Northern' Great-spotted Woodpeckers D. m. major, mainly to the east coast and the Northern Isles which do tend to have longer wings and stouter, deeper bills but none of the ones I've seen have come close to the weight of this female - admittedly all the birds that come across from Scandinavia in the autumn are very hungry and skinny (which is why they came in the first place!)
A Hawfinch flew over the garden in the morning while there was a trickle of Swallows, Sand Martins and flava Wagtails coming in across the sea from the south.   A Black-throated Diver was the only bird of note I saw flying over the flat, mirror-like sea.

Holly Blue

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