Saturday, 23 January 2016

Oxwich Marsh 23 January 2016: the first redpoll of the year

An almost spring-like day, with a light to moderate south-westerly wind and overcast skies that gradually cleared over the morning.  Unfortunately the water levels in the marsh remain very high, with deep mud and standing water in all of the net rides.

We limited our nets to 260 feet, all among scrub / around the feeders.  The catch of 74 birds was as follows:

Species
New
Re-trapped
Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker
0
1
1
Dunnock
0
2
2
Robin
0
2
2
Coal Tit
0
1
1
Blue Tit
4
19
23
Great Tit
0
8
8
Chaffinch
9
5
14
Greenfinch
3
1
4
Goldfinch
5
5
10
Siskin
1
2
3
Lesser Redpoll
1
0
1
Reed Bunting
4
1
5
Total:
27
47
74

Lesser redpoll (Owain Gabb)
The features of the catch were a control goldfinch (a bird ringed elsewhere and recaptured on the marsh), a few siskin, a first lesser redpoll of the year and four reed buntings.

Lesser redpoll (Owain Gabb)
Despite capturing almost 900 individual goldfinch on the marsh over the past few years, and recapturing many of these birds on a regular basis, we had not previously controlled a bird. The bird was an adult, as indicated by a relatively fresh looking tail with rounded feather tips and a single generation of wing feathers (uniformly black across the dark areas of the wing coverts).  We left it unsexed, as it did not exhibit a range of consistent male or female plumage features.  

The lesser redpoll was also an adult, but was sexed as a male based on the considerable amount of pink feathering on the breast.

Thanks to today's contingent of Heather Coats, Wayne Morris, Darren Hicks, Val Wilson, Emma Cole and Paul Aubrey for company and assistance.

Owain Gabb
23/01/2016

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