Monday, 28 November 2011

Manor Farm Bird Ringing Update

Due to a combination of a busy social calendar and some very windy weather, my ringing activities were restricted to Saturday morning only, and even then I had to close the nets early as the wind got up. Nonetheless, I still managed to capture 24 birds of 11 species, with four of them being retraps. The species list included Dunnock, Blackbird, Wren, Blue Tit, Robin, Wood Pigeon and Goldcrest, but the best birds were included within the large finch flock that was still present;  two Chaffinch's, 11 Linnets and a single Greenfinch.

Last weekend I mentioned that the large flock of finches, which included at least 80 linnets, was present at the site, and a well positioned single panel net managed to capture several birds; seven of which were linnets. Well the flock was still present and so I put the net up in the same place and captured a few more birds, 11 of which were linnets, although one of them was a retrap from last week.

Linnet - Manor Farm Country Park

The Linnet is described as being a slim, long-tailed bird with a short grey bill, brown mantle and back, buff white throat with indistinct dark spotting in the centre.

Wing of Linnet

The primary feathers are edged white and the rump and tail feathers are dark centred.

Rump of Linnet

During the summer months birds can be sexed by the presence of red on the forehead and breast, whereas first winter/female birds lack any red. During the autumn the red on males is generally concealed by buff fringes, but red feathers are at least usually present on the breast. Female birds lack any red on a streaked dark brown breast.

Male Linnet
Female Linnet

Adult Linnets undergo a complete moult post breeding, whereas juvenile birds only undergo a partial post juvenile moult. Therefore unmoulted feathers can be visible due to excessive wear, this is most noticeable in the tail feathers.

Juvenile Tail

The pointed and abraded tail feathers of a juvenile bird (above) can be easily separated from the fresh and rounded tail feathers of an adult bird (below).

Adult Tail
In two sessions I have captured 17 Linnets, which is the best year I have ever had at this site. Hopefully the flock will remain in the area and give me the chance to catch more this winter.

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