Thursday, 1 November 2012

Red October

Red October - no not the submarine from the film but a description of the month's ringing at Stanford with several records broken and two controlled Lesser Redpolls.

The adverse weather conditions conspired such that two of the regular Saturday morning group ringing sessions were cancelled and the red dawns became a thing of the past.

However the dank, dreary and dismal days did not put Masai Mick off who made a sterling effort as he undertook several midweek sessions - some with another ringer to accompany him but also half a dozen solo efforts.  He was richly rewarded adding some eight new species to the annual list and thereby achieving a record annual total of 54 species.

The first Jay ringed since 2007
Kestrel - a new species for Webmaster Mike

Green Woodpecker

Despite ringing at Stanford since 1976, this is only the third Firecrest ringed - the other two were in 1984 and 2001.

Towards the end of the month the first Fieldfare (7)  and Redwing (3) were trapped

and an overdue species:
female Cetti's Warbler   26/10/2012
We ringed our first Cetti's on 29/10/2005 and this was followed by others on 28/10/2006, 13/10/2007, 28/9/2009, 25/10/2009, 6/11/2010.  We also controlled one on 31/10/2009.  Late October would seem to be the time for this species at Stanford and note all except the bird on 28/9/2009 were female.

Despite the inauspicious start, a total of 667 new birds were ringed during the month (click here for details) and 168 retraps and two controls (Lesser Redpoll) processed. It was the second best October total ever, but way behind last October's 933.  With all this activity a couple of other records almost slipped through unnoticed - the month's total of 46 Goldcrest resulted in a record year total of 57 and 224 Lesser Redpoll gave us a year record of 226 handsomely knocking into second place last year's total of 144

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