This mornings session was held at Kings Moss as we had planned for last week but were put off by persistent bad weather. Today was a completely different story. Arriving at Kings Moss at 7am, the air was crisp, there was a reasonable frost and the sky was clear with absolutely no wind. These conditions are rare in this neck of the woods to say the least!
We decided to put a couple of extra nets up today, an additional 32m of nets alongside a hedge where, last session, we saw a lot of Yellowhammer activity. It was clear from the start that there weren't as many birds around, most likely as a result of the mowing of one of the stubble fields that had held a considerable number of finches last time out. With the four of us, we managed to get the nets up sharpish and get some music on the go by the time the Sun awoke.
First bird of the day happened to be the very bird we were targetting, a juvenile male Yellowhammer, joined later by an adult female and, on the penultimate net round, a stonking adult male. Sadly a battery failure on my phone (it's been playing up recently) meant that there are no photos of said stonker. The Yellowhammer were Charlies first of the species, unfortunately he did not get to ring a Willow Tit, but he did get to process two retraps. Right from the off Goldfinches and Chaffinches were caught and made up the majority of the catch, present in every net round.
As the Sun rose, the frost started to thaw exposing the quagmire caused by the week of heavy rain and leaving me, as the only one who opted for walking boots over wellies, rather muddy. Schoolboy error.
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
As the session progressed, and we all warmed up, the titmice started to become more active, spread between the two main feeding sites. Unusually, no Bullfinches were caught, although a pair was seen briefly, as was a Buzzard digging for worms in the field adjacent to the cattle. A male and a female Kestrel were the only other raptors of any note.
Steve got off early, part-timer, to go watch the second team of Liverpool play the first team of Manchester, leaving myself to ring a bird in the form of the final Yellowhammer. Not a bad first bird to ring on my new trainer endorsed A permit!! Thanks to Seamus Eaves for taking a look at me for my upgrade.
The Kings Moss Massive
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Wren - 1
L.T.Tit - (5)
Blue Tit - 6 (8)
Great Tit - 4 (7)
Willow Tit - (2)
Robin - (1)
Dunnock - 1 (2)
Chaffinch - 11
Goldfinch - 13
Reed Bunting - 2
Yellowhammer - 3
Greenfinch - 3
Blackbird - 2
TOTAL: 46 (25)
The forecast for the morning looks promising and Moxey has been keeping an eye on Crosby Hall, according to him it is due a good session.....time will tell!