Saturday, March 30th 2013
The back garden is still very busy with birds feeding.
Dunnocks are not agile like the tit family and they have to wait patienly on the ground for pieces of food to fall.
Some of the birds feeding are 'ours', some are passing through. We received information from the BTO, about a Siskin that was ringed in Foxglove, as a youngster, in July 2011 and was caught elsewhere in a mist net in February 2013. No surprise that it was caught again in a mist net, but the mist net was 377km NNW of Foxglove! Not a short journey for a small bird, weighing in at about 13g.
We also heard that summer migrants, including Chiffchaff and Wheatear, have been seen on the south coast. Chiffchaffs are already two weeks late arriving in Foxglove. The cold weather will have to release its grip before many of these birds head north.
More worrying is the news of a 'Puffin Wreck' on the east coast. Bird watchers are reporting dead Puffins washed up on shore. Many of these birds were in very poor condition with little body fat. It is suspected that the severe weather has prevented the Puffins, quite a hardy species, from feeding. What impact this will have on the breeding populations at Cape Wrath will be reported later in the year when the ringers head north.
Visitors new to the reserve, were welcomed into the ringing room and were able to see the birds close up and were amazed at their beauty. Under supervision they were allowed to release some of the birds and it is an experience they will not forget.
This male Bullfinch sat quietly to be photographed before flying off strongly when released. You can see the short strong beak that is excellent for nipping off the buds of fruit trees.
Another colourful bird to pass through the ringing room was this Goldfinch. These birds eat seeds and so their beak is longer and finer.
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