Monday, 25 October 2010

Pre-dawn agonising

Heysham Obs
The last decent day for a bit for any ringing/vis mig, but both of us had mid-morning guillotines hanging over us.  Pre-dawn Goldcersts calling by the office (2 of them - if it had been more, may have changed plans).  At least 20 Redwing & a similar number of Blackbirds seeping and seeeiping respectively over the office area before dawn - not quite enough to change plans.  Reed Bunting passage at Middleton had been seriously neglected, but it was partially flooded with freezing cold water - maybe not.  So the other option was to assume that there had been an arrival of Twite in yesterdays conditions & the ringing session then was truncated anyway by anglers.  Therefore a repeat before the weather really goes off........

North wall pre-dawn to 1000hrs
Twite - c30, no evidence of a major arrival:  12 ringed, yesterdays control retrapped, c5 autumn 2010 retraps, 3 retraps from previous years.  One of the latter was somewhat tricky and would almost certainly have been identified as a 1CY male with fully adult greater coverts if it hadn't already been ringed.  Wing length of 81mm should completely rule out female yet there was absolutely no trace of pink on the rump and the white on the primaries was 'in-between' a typical male & female.  It had been ringed last autumn as a 1CY male.  Do they sometimes not acquire a pink rump until the second full moult or do some of them do without all their lives?
Linnet - 4 ringed
Goldfinch - 2 ringed
Blackbird - at least 5 heard pre-dawn
Redwing - at least 4 heard pre-dawn
Meadow Pipit - 3 blogging & 5 SE
alba Wagtail - 2 SE
Skylark - 6 SE
Swan spp - 6 distantly SE over the bay, 99% certain Whooper on structure
Med Gull - adult patrolling early on

Heysham N Reserve
See above
Chiffchaff - collybita-type calling mid-am