Yet another first!

What is going on. March is a pretty good month for my garden so after the influx of Siskins and the flock of Waxwings this week I thought that I should be glad of what I'd got.

Mark came around this morning to try and get some Siskins. This, we certainly did, but in the process added several Lesser Redpolls to the tally and good numbers of Goldfinches. Amongst the Redpolls was a re-trapped bird whose flock-mate back in January was controlled by Pete Marsh at Thrushgill yesterday.

Anyway, as we were ringing the birds, I heard a sound that I was familiar with but not in my garden. Mark heard it too and commented "You said you'd never had Nuthatch in your garden before". Nope - Rishton has been a Nuthatch-free zone as long as I have been here. They thrive to the west and south of Blackburn and they're common at Spring Wood near Whalley not four miles away, but they've never made it to here - until today! We didn't see it unfortunately but I'll be keeping an ear out for it over the weekend.

That was not the last of the (local) excitement. Things had quietened off around 11am as usual but I noticed a Redpoll in the hawthorns - one glance and I was sure it was a Mealy. I got Mark onto it and he thought so too as it dropped down to the feeder. A very pale bird - cold brown and grey backed with no hint of buff in the flanks and broad flank streaking. Could we get it in the net. the answer was "No". It came down the tree and off again three times in the next hour narrowly missing the top shelf of the net each time - grrrr! We'll you can't have everything.

A pleasant day's ringing with lots of new birds passing through.
Male Siskin, one of several caught today
2nd calendar year female Siskin - note the three white-edged old greater coverts


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