Friday, 1 February 2013

Early February 2013

February 10th: On and off light rain, making a miserable day. The only notables were 2 Goldcrests and a Water Rail.
The usual common birds were processed in a restricted morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue.

February 9th: Frosty start then gradually milder. Brent-type geese included a Black Brant, a Black Brant x Dark-bellied Brent Goose intergrade and 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Also present were 2 Bearded Tits, a Woodcock, a Rook, a Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard, a Short-eared Owl, 24 Corn Buntings and 20 Siskins. Flying northwest were 600 Pink-footed Geese.

February 8th: Afternoon rain. Around were a Black Brant x Dark-bellied Brent Goose intergrade, a Hen Harrier, 3 Woodcocks, 2 Yellowhammers and a Brambling. South went a Taiga Bean Goose and 99 Siskins.
A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue produced a new Brambling and a few other common birds.

February 7th: Overnight wintry shower, frosty start, slowly became a bit milder. Offshore was an unseasonal Sooty Shearwater. On Croftmarsh, oddly, were 14 Turnstones. A Mistle Thush was in song. The most notable others were a Jack Snipe and a Water Pipit.
The best birds on a morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue were 2 new Siskins.
Alan Brewster has kindly sent us his photographs of the Woodlarks seen here on January 31st.

                                               Woodlarks (Alan Brewster)

                                                    Woodlark (Alan Brewster)

February 6th: Rain on and off all day, reducing coverage. At sea 140 Kittiwakes flew south. A Goldcrest was around.

February 5th: Wintry shower overnight, then windy with sun and clouds. Heading south were 6 Siskins. Otherwise 2 Waxwings and a Water Rail were of note.
 A Song Thrush has been using a stone near the Heligoland trap as an anvil.

                                    Stone anvil and empty snail shells (George Gregory)

February 4th: Strong westerly wind still. The best birds around were 2 Waxwings, a Shorelark, a Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier. On the water bodies were a Pintail and 4 Goldeneyes.

February 3rd: Cold, strong westerly wind. Around were 2 Waxwings, 5 Woodcocks, a Merlin, a Peregrine, 10 Redwings, a Coal Tit, 2 Goldcrests and 3 Snow Buntings. A Purple Sandpiper and 52 Turnstones were on the beach, a Shag was offshore, and a Fulmar went north.
  A brief morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue produced just the usual finches and tits.

February 2nd: Snow and hail from just before first light covered the ground first thing before melting through the morning as temperatures rose. There was an occasional light hail or rain shower for much of the day with intermittent cloud and periods of warm sunshine.
   At sea 710 Kittiwakes headed south, while on the reserve were 2 Coal Tits, 3 Bramblings and 6 Goldeneyes.
  Ringing at Aylmer Avenue by Mick Briggs from 11am until 4pm (late start again due to work!) resulted in the 17 New and 31 Retraps. Birds were thus (New/Retraps) - (0/1) Dunnock, (0/2) Robin, (4/1) Blackbird, (0/2) Blue Tit, (1/1) Great Tit, (4/2) Chaffinch, (1/2) Brambling, (7/16) Greenfinch and (0/4) Goldfinch.
  The highlight of the day was amongst the retraps which included not one but two control Greenfinches! The ring numbers were - TR96294 and TH59436. As usual if anybody knows who ringed these two, please let us know either by commenting on this post or by emailing us at
  Amongst the new Greenfinches was a bird that must have had some "cage Canary breeding" in its ancestry as it had some vivid orange feathers in the belly and chest and showed an orange hue to the leading edge of the first four primaries and two outer primary coverts. Please note that the photos don't really do justice to just how orange this bird looked!
Adult male Greenfinch with Canary DNA in its ancestry? 2nd February 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
Adult male Greenfinch with two outer primary coverts showing an orange hue along with four outer primaries.
2nd February 2013. Photo - Mick Briggs.
Adult male Greenfinch with Canary DNA in its ancestry? - note you can just see an orange hue to the throat feathers.
2nd February 2013. Photo - Mick Briggs
February 1st: Much less windy. A Waxwing and 35 Siskins flew south. Around were 3000 Golden Plovers, a Jack Snipe, 5 Redpolls, a Fieldfare, 4 Redwings, a Goldcrest and 2 Bramblings.
  A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Dave Vincent (9am until 12.30am) resulted in 17 New birds and 21 Retraps, birds were thus (New/Retrap) - (13/7) Greenfinch, (2/4) Goldfinch, (1/1) Chaffinch, (1/1) Brambling, (0/4) Blue Tit, (0/2) Blackbird, (0/1) Dunnock and (0/1) Robin.

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