Ringing at Nanjizal – 15/10/15

On Thursday, I joined Ellie and Will to head down to Nanjizal valley (near Land’s End) for a morning’s ringing at Kester Wilson’s fantastic site. We set off just after 6am, arriving for the first net round a little after 7am. It was a perfect morning for ringing, with not a breath of wind, some gloomy cloud cover overhead, and a fair passage of migrants underway.

It was a great morning’s ringing at Nanjizal, with a steady stream of birds finding their way into the mist nets between 0700 and 0900, before a much slower pace resumed thereafter. It was great to have flocks of thrushes dropping in and moving west overhead, some of which made their way into the nets. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Firecrests and the odd Yellow-browed Warbler were present amongst the scattering of willows, bramble scrub and taller conifers, and we ended up catching a good number of the former three species. Aside the birds we did catch, there was a lot more flying overhead in the form of visible migration, the highlights including: 42 Skylarks, 200 Jackdaws, 87 Redwings, a Lesser Redpoll, a Green Sandpiper, 37 Meadow Pipits, a Stock Dove, three Siskins and a Reed Bunting.

In terms of ringing, we managed to do 101 new birds, and processed around 20 retraps. Amongst the most numerous species, namely that of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Chaffinches, were one or two smart birds: five Redwings and two Song Thrushes were great to catch, with one of the latter sporting a very grey rump and upperparts, presumably a continental bird; two re-trap Yellow-browed Warblers were great to see, as were four new Firecrests and a further two re-traps; a new Cetti’s Warbler and a retrap Kingfisher added to the colour and variety of the morning’s session.

Here are a few images from the morning:

Nanjizal, about nine miles from Land’s End

The first Redwings of the autumn have only just appeared in the last week down here in Cornwall, so it was great to ring a few during the morning

It has been an amazing year for Yellow-browed Warblers throughout the UK this autumn, and they have been a regular occurrence in the nets down in Nanjizal over the last week, with seven trapped a few days ago

One of my favourite birds to catch- the cute Goldcrest, this one a male (sporting the bright red crown feathers)

 …and its scarcer cousin: the Firecrest. We caught six birds during the morning, most of which were new birds
 Cetti’s Warbler
 The grey wash to the rump and upperparts of this Song Thrush identifies it as being of the continental race/origin
 The dazzling wing of a Blue Tit- this one, however, is a juvenile born this year. Adults have even more blue on the wing, edging the primary coverts 
Lon-tailed Tit. They are always a delight to catch!
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