Ever since the recent snow and ice, we have been getting an ever increasing flock of bramblings feeding in the garden. With all the borders and shrubs that have now grown up, getting an accurate count has been a nightmare. The only way to count them properly is when they flush up into the trees. Numbers have grown from half a dozen over the Christmas period to an amazing 42 earlier this week!! Other scarce finches have been putting in an appearance with peak counts of 11 siskin, 10 lesser redpoll and 3 bullfinches all in the last 6 weeks.
With what was probably going to be the last chance while they are still about, I managed to get my nets open this morning in the hope of catching a few. It didn’t look good to start with but the flock soon arrived. They obviously knew the nets were open but after a while I started catching. The first two females were caught along with a lovely adult male siskin. By the end of the morning I had caught 29 new and 4 re-traps including a very impressive 14 bramblings. It was interesting that 14 of the birds were females and only two birds were adults (male and female) with all the rest being 1st winters.
While out in the shed ringing, I noticed a strange but familiar sound overhead, I looked out to see a mute swan (it was the sound of the beating wings) flying over. Patch mega and species 57. Species 58 and my 2nd two-pointer soon followed as a red kite flew west over the garden.
A short walk around part of the patch (sleet set in) this afternoon produced a nice flock of thrushes in the horse paddocks inc 135 fleidfare, 2 redwing and a mistle thrush but most other things were keeping their heads down….
Patch yearlist now stands at 58 species, 60 points.