Friday was beautiful weather, sunny and calm, so I took the opportunity to get out and tried a new net near the nyger seed feeder that I put out last week. Nothing seems to have found the feeder yet but it is still a nice position for a net at the edge of the trees in the low willow scrub. The Redwing tape brought in a few individuals and I also caught the first Redpolls of the year; we generally only catch Redpolls in October and November when they are passing through. The new net also caught a new Great Spotted Woodpecker with quite dramatic fault bars across his flight feathers. Fault bars are caused by an interruption in nutrition while the feathers are growing and when the fault lines up across the feathers like this they indicate that the feathers all grew simultaneously. Fault bars are not unusual in juvenile birds.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker with pale fault bars across unmoulted secondaries and primary coverts.|
|4M Blue Tit with fault bar across three feathers|
|Juvenile Cetti's Warbler from Rutland Water|
After the pleasant day on Friday the weather on Sunday was very different. The forecast had been for breezy weather but when Gabor, Chris and I got there at 06:30 it was more like 25mph. We stood around for a while trying to decide whether to bother but the wind started to drop so we put a few nets up in the more sheltered areas. We managed to get five nets up in the end and caught Goldcrests, two more Redpolls and four Chiffchaff. We tried a hopeful tape lure of Hawfinch call following numerous sightings of Hawfinch passing over in the last week but no luck. A few Goldcrests, a Bullfinch and a Long-tail Tit flock of mainly retraps brought the total for the day up to 33.