Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Finches galore, including some ringing recoveries

Heysham Obs
***Chiffchaff calling several times by the office at 1440hrs - sounded like collybita but not seen

Good numbers of finches on the north harbour wall today, courtesy of lack of any obvious disturbance prior to my arrival

North wall late morning
Twite - 34, at least 9 unringed (9/14 examined were unringed, this group also included Machrihanish-ringed bird with red/white right leg and metal over green/white left leg)
Linnet - 6 (3 ringed, 2 ll, one rl)
Goldfinch - 19, at least 7 unringed
Robin - ringed bird plus unringed 1CY briefly, another on mound
Song Thrush - usual bird
Wren - 1
Meadow Pipit - just the one located
Med Gull - adult and 2CY
Rock Pipit - one heard over the south side of harbour

Ringing recoveries
The most interesting feature here was the mode of recovery of the Greenfinch - very mid-20th century or earlier

Ringed:  Heysham Obs                3F                13/10/11
Dead in coal shed:  Thoralby, Leyburn, N Yorks  25/10/12  66km ENE

A typical origin for migrant Greenfinch ringed at Heysham in October

Ringed:     Port e vullen, Isle of Man       4F            16/10/12    1500hrs
Caught:     Heysham Obs                                          19/10/12   1200hrs  98km ESE

This could have made it from the IOM on vis mig setting off as late as early morning of 19/10, but is highly unlikely to have left there after ringing as late as 1500hrs on 16/10.  I suspect the bird moved to Cumbria on 17/10 or 18/10 and thence to Heysham.  It was caught there at the feeder, not tape-lured on vis mig.

Ringed:   Heysham Obs                          3M                1/10/12 (0800hrs)
Caught:  Embley Wood, Hants                                     13/10/12 (0800hrs)  354km SSE

Was it still on migration?   The last time we asked this question with respect to a Heysham-ringed Goldcrest caught later in the autumn (Doncaster), the bird was retrapped in midwinter, answering the question

Mottled Umber & Winter moth in trap, 2 Winter moths between res gate and traffic lights last night (one in SD45E, the other in SD46A)