Sunday, 14 January 2018

The only birds of note for me today was a Barn Owl again hunting below Hanging Houghton and at least 12 Hawfinches showing well in Cottesbrooke village this morning.  

Meanwhile Kenny Cramer sent a very interesting account of his ringing session at Milton Keynes Community Orchard.  He writes "not knowing what to expect, I had assumed the mild conditions and absence of any substantial thrush flocks would result in a meagre catch.  It turns out I was very wrong.......we caught 85 birds [all new] of 10 species and one very big {literally}surprise.
Several tit flocks through the morning made up the bulk of the numbers with 34 Blue Tit, 13 Long Tailed Tit, 9 Great Tit, and 1 Coal Tit. On the thrush front we caught a decent 13 Blackbird and 5 Redwing. Completing the passerine catch were 5 Robins, 3 Goldcrest and a Chaffinch.
The big surprise of the day came when I spotted a Common Buzzard flying away through the orchard close to the ground....and straight towards one of our net runs.  I made a run for it and emerged from the dense tree line to find it in the bottom corner of the net.   Iris colour, tail pattern and retained juvenille coverts identified it as a first winter bird. Sex was indeterminate due to the large overlap in size between the sexes although wing length and weight were both at top end of male "

Regards Eleanor
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