There wasn't a huge amount of activity on site at dawn except for a flock of Redpoll leaving a roost towards the pond and as I mentioned in Sundays post, a lot of birds have appeared to head to the abundance of food found in the urban areas or the shelter of the mature woodland.
The feeding regime in the field alongside the hedgerow is starting to pay off however, with Yellowhammer now starting to feed on the seed we're leaving out for them. We caught our first three Yellowhammer of the year, one of which was a retrap originally ringed in Feb 2012. Last year, the flock started to build up during the second half of January and our catch rate increased steadily during Feb/March - here's to hoping for something similar this year!
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) female
In addition to the Yellowhammers, we also caught our first Fieldfare of 2013, a bird that we don't often catch. Two birds were caught, both young birds and one each of male and female which provided a good opportunity to young Finn to see the differences between the sexes.
Fieldfare - male on the left, female on the right.
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
By 10am, the (unforecasted) sleet started to fall and we had to close the nets and pack away. As we were doing so, six Brambling flew into the feeding station to join some Reed Bunting and an increasing number of Chaffinch. It was a time to be philosophical, that's the way it goes sometimes and whilst I was slightly disappointed in the number of birds that we had caught, there is one young man who wasn't disappointed and you can read about Finn's session here.
You see Finn, I managed to get the whole way through the post without mentioning the hilarious moment when you stepped in the mud and left your wellie behind and had to spend the rest of the session with only one sock on........oh, I guess I didn't.
Robin - (2)
Chaffinch - 8 (3)
Yellowhammer - 2 (1)
Blue Tit - (1)
Great Tit - (1)
Fieldfare - 2
Blackbird - 2 (4)
TOTAL: 14 (12)