Friday, 16 March 2018

The calm before the storm?


Eric was again on the Titchmarsh Reserve at Thrapston today and saw two Goosanders, two Egyptian Geese, three Chiffchaffs, two Siskins and a Redpoll. A Great White Egret was reported and Eric saw a Brimstone butterfly in the spring-like weather. Nearby and John Hunt was able to report that a pair of Egyptian Geese were chaperoning three goslings at Oundle Marina.

A Barn Owl was hunting the roadside between Spratton and Brixworth this morning and the usual one was again in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton. Both Brimstone and Comma butterflies were on the wing between Cottesbrooke and Hanging Houghton.

Eleanor noted two pairs of Grey Partridge at Harrington Airfield today and birds at Brixworth Water Treatment Works included a Water Rail, six Snipe and a Grey Wagtail.

The gull roost at Pitsford Reservoir this afternoon attracted a flock of twelve Kittiwakes, the majority if not all disappeared before dark and were only picked up because they were heard calling amongst the throng!

A ringing session at Kelmarsh Hall today provided 106 captures of 14 species of small birds made up of a Blackbird, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 26 Great Tits, 21 Blue Tits, three Coal Tits, a Marsh Tit, five Long-tailed Tits, seven Dunnocks, three Robins, four Nuthatches, 21 Goldfinches, two Siskins, nine Chaffinches and a Bullfinch.

A Raven was also active there and other birds noted included a Redpoll and a couple more Siskins.


Neil M

This is the third time that
we have encountered this
Great Tit whilst ringing at
Kelmarsh Hall. It was first
caught on 6th Feb 2017 and
assessed as being an adult male.
It was caught again on 6th March
2017, on both occasions the
bird was unremarkable. However
today it is now sporting this quite
incredible bill! The lower mandible
was 21mm in length and the upper
18mm. What caused this abnormal
bill growth is not known...

Second year male

Adult male Siskin.

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