Tuesday 19th November 2019 – Firecrest day

Finally, a day with half-decent weather and no other commitments saw me making an early journey to South Milton. Although a little windier than I would have liked (F4/5 SE), an easterly element had proved quite productive in the past so I was optimistic.

The reserve is very wet with water levels in the upper reaches as high as I can remember. The bridge across to Marsh Ride required further remedial work as the wire mesh had collected a load of vegetation being swept down the ditch and the whole lot had been moved a few metres downstream. I even found a Grey Wagtail nest box, which had been attached to the bridge on the public footpath, 200m upstream, beached in Marsh Ride so it looks as though water levels must have reached the base of the bridge some 2 metres above normal!

The ringing was steady throughout the day with 67 birds processed: 6 Blackbird, 11 Blue Tit, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 21 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 9 Firecrest, 12 Goldcrest, 1 Great Tit, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Robin and 2 Wren. The Firecrest total is a new day record, beating the previous figure of 6 during a big influx in October 2017 and three of the Chiffchaffs were returning wintering birds, one of which was back for its third successive year.

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