After another cold, clear night I was greeted by a heavy frost this morning and, once I had scraped the ice off the mist net poles – the only real disadvantage of metal versus bamboo poles – things started quietly. Because of the cold I decided to use my minimum suite of six nets, all within 200m of the ringing station, which enables more frequent net rounds. Flocks of 500 Woodpigeon and 50 Jackdaws heading south overhead and groups of blackbird, redwing and fieldfare feeding on hawthorn berries around the reserve, gave some indication that there were migrants about and I might be able to lure a few into a net. However, despite my best efforts, the thrushes were elusive and soon departed.
The final total for the day was 36 birds of 10 species, including 9 re-traps and a UK ringed Chiffchaff. The highlight was 4 Cetti’s warblers, which brings the total for the species to 10 individuals in the last 5 weeks. New birds were: 1 Blackcap, 5 Blue tit, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, 9 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 3 Meadow Pipit, 1 Reed Bunting and 1 Wren. Also around the reserve: 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Water Rail, 1 Green Woodpecker and, despite the frost, Red Admiral and Common Darter still about.