Having missed out on a ringing session on Saturday, due to the weather, before returning home from my work trip South I was looking forward to seeing some of the migrants that had been arriving on Orkney while I had been away.
There didn't seem to be too much lurking in the bushes around the garden and in the field that surrounds the cottage there was only a Song Thrush, a Lapwing, a couple of Redshank and twenty Curlew. A drive into town to do a few bits and pieces didn't reveal too much either. Not a Redwing or Fieldfare to be seen.
As I was having a late lunch the phone rang and it was my trainer to say he was going out to a local site on East Mainland to see if there were any migrants about. I arrived at at the site at 3:30 just as he and another member of the group were putting up the first of two mist nets. Once they were both setup, an MP3 player playing Goldcrest calls was started and within seconds the bushes next to one of the nets was alive with Goldcrests popping in and out. Six of them went into the net and it was a promising start to the afternoon.
Having processed the six we went back to check the nets but they were empty. The Goldcrests seemed to have got wise to the MP3 player and were avoiding the net. The player was turned off for a bit and then back on and we caught a few more Goldcrests but not in big numbers. On one net check whilst removing one Goldcrest from the net another one flew straight into the net only 3ft from where I was standing. Most birds would have avoided the nets totally while we were stood next to them.
On one of the net checks we also had a Blackbird. As the the afternoon drew to an end and the light started to fade more Blackbirds started appearing from the surrounding countryside and moving into our catching site. Another couple of checks of the nets produced a few more Blackbirds for ringing.
Also as the light faded Redwings started to appear but none of them ended up in the nets. Another bird that was flitting around the area and managed to avoid getting caught was a Yellow-browed Warbler, that would have been a new species for me to ring. However it was still a new species for me as I haven't seen one before so at least that was something.
The final net round also produced a male Chaffinch. In total we caught and ringed 21 birds so a good afternoon.
16 Oct 12
As a quick follow up note I had Goldcrests in the garden this morning, so hopefully in the future I might be able to catch a few here too.