So, the ‘somewhere else I needed to be’ that prevented me from staying in Norfolk on Sunday evening was Brackenhurst on Monday morning. At 6am, I joined Jim, Gary, Duncan and Emma for a morning’s ringing at one of our winter feeding sites. It was a bitterly cold morning that should have yielded good numbers of birds in the nets. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be.
The morning started auspiciously enough when a woodcock flushed from one of the rides that we were setting nets in. Despite Jim and Gary’s best efforts during the morning, it didn’t want to play and refused to be flushed into the nets. The net rounds started slowly with just a few birds each time and to be honest, they didn’t get much better. There just didn’t seem to be many birds around.
The highlight of the day for me was a goldcrest. They are stunningly beautiful little birds and I haven’t seen one in the hand for a while, so it was a treat to get to ring that. A re-trap tree sparrow was also nice to see. The first of this year’s migrants paid us a visit – one chiffchaff who responded remarkably quickly to the sound lure. Interestingly, most of the re-traps that we caught were adults, heightening our suspicions that last year was a disastrous breeding season. A lot of the chaffinches we caught also had high fat scores indicating that they may be continental birds that haven’t yet set off on the return journey to their breeding grounds.
|Gorgeous little goldcrest|
|First spring migrant of the year|
We gave up late in the morning when the winds became too strong and we could no longer feel our fingers! Twas a nice morning, despite the cold and the low avian turnout!
Oh and in answer to the question in the title, by the end of the weekend, I did!!!