Sunday, 17 April 2016

Snow, frost and birds at Harrington...


After early morning frosts and a layer of snow, a ringing session at Harrington Airfield proved to be a good move with 126 captures of 17 species. Four Willow Warblers caught included three returning birds (one from 2014 and two from 2015) and two Green Woodpeckers were females first ringed last year. The most common bird caught was the Yellowhammer with 58 new birds and 10 from previous years. Other birds included 17 Chaffinches, 2 Linnets, a Lesser Redpoll (one of three flying around), 3 Reed Buntings, 2 Blackcaps and four of the six or so Wheatears present.

Other birds present included two Ring Ouzels, a Redwing, three Redstarts, a Raven and two Willow Tits. Small numbers of Swallow, Sand Martin, Meadow Pipit and Yellow Wagtail trickled over in a northerly direction. Two of the trapped Wheatears keyed out as male 'Greenland' Wheatears, with the two females apparently of the nominate race.

A Ring Ouzel was seen in flight at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell this afternoon and four Wheatears were in the Brampton Valley between there and the Brampton Valley Way.

Nick Parker visited Pitsford Reservoir this morning and watched a perched Osprey north of the causeway and later visited Thrapston Gravel Pits to locate a well-marked Whimbrel.

Further ringing at Harrington Airfield is planned for tomorrow morning with restricted access to the old airstrip, but the concrete track and footpaths remain unaffected...


Neil M

Male 'Greenland' Wheatear
Harrington Airfield.

Courtesy of Cathy Ryden.

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