mandag den 20. april 2015

Willow Warblers and a Woodpecker

Awesome day of Spring ringing today! Perfect weather (I took both my jackets off this morning so it must be getting warm) and a great catch. Again I was busy early on this morning and then everything slowed to about 3 birds per net round after that.

A total of 94 birds were ringed this morning from 15 species, and 15 retraps were caught. Excitingly, the Willow Warblers have arrived in the garden! They've been around Gedser for a while now but I haven't seen any sign of them in the garden until this morning when they were singing beautifully just after sunrise. Six were ringed early on this morning.

Something else a bit different this morning was that I ringed a Great Spotted Woodpecker - my first Woodpecker and a real treat in my final days at the station. Such great birds! It took me longer than I expected to extract the net from its fantastically strong, gripping feet and it made such a racket. It also had a decent peck at my hands but I loved every second of it - it's a Woodpecker after all!

The Great Spotted Woodpecker ringed today
Also of note is that I recorded the first brood patch of this season on a Greenfinch this morning. Looks like Spring is really starting to get into full swing now and the birds are officially getting ready to breed.

Greenfinch showing the development of a brood patch when feathers blown away from the body
Close up of brood patch, which is a highly vasculated bare area that birds develop in the nesting season to keep their eggs warm during incubation

A Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Blackcap, Black Redstart and a couple of Bramblings were also caught in with the usual suspects of Robins, Wrens, Dunnocks, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Great Tits and Greenfinches. Again Robins were the most common species ringed and comprised 58 % of the catch.

The weather for tomorrow looks like a repeat of today - I'd be happy with a repeat of today's catch too.

Breakdown 20/04/2015:
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Stor Flagspætte) - 1
Wren (Gærdesmutte) - 1
Dunnock (Jernspurv) - 6
Robin (Rødhals) - 53
Black Redstart (Husrødstjert) - 1
Song Thrush (Sangdrossel) - 1
Blackcap (Munk) - 1
Chiffchaff (Gransanger) - 12
Willow Warbler (Løvsanger) - 6
Goldcrest (Fuglekonge) - 1
Great Tit (Musvit) - 4
Brambling (Kvækerfinke) - 2
Greenfinch (Grønirisk) - 3
Goldfinch (Stillits) - 1
Reed Bunting (Rørspurv) - 1
TOTAL = 94

Lizzy Joyce

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