Winter's arrived in the form of a Brambling

A week without any rain, a rarity! As is Brambling in my back garden but a fine male was present this morning along with five Blackbirds munching through windfall apples as the first significant frost of the winter descended.

The cold snap brought the swans up to the Reservoir today - 10 Mute and the Black Swan and another uncommon visitor to Rishton at least, a Little Grebe. Up at Parsonage Reservoir, there was a single Goldeneye but I did catch sight of  two skeins of Pink-footed Geese (around 300 in total) heading south-east towards Rishton. there were several Lapwings in the area too and Canada Goose numbers have started to increase.

We tried ringing in the garden for the first time since the re-layout on Wednesday but the wind conspired against us. However we did retrap this male Sparrowhawk that we had initially rung in December. I had my first Fieldfare of the winter over the garden - still not many around though there weems to have been a big movement elsewhere in the past day or so.
3rd cy male sparrowhawk
We also managed a couple of Goldcrests and a treecreeper which can be aged as this year's bird according to the large teardrop-shaped pale tip to the outermost primary coverts apparently. Not trapped an adult yet to compare!
Treecreeper wing
I've had the moth trap out in the warmer nights but have caught very little - a feathered Thorn was the only new species for the garden.

Next week is half term so a few days are planned in Plymouth with Peter. May even get out to do some birding!


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