The first mist netting session of the year, and after our last try at this site ( when so many birds flushed as we went in to set nets) we got rather keen and went in for 6.15am to set two runs of three nets with the aid of headlamps. It was quite difficult as the apple trees are due a prune soon and many slender branches extend into the rides at head height. There was even enough light to get another two up before ESA and RMA arrived for the 7.30am start that we'd arranged.
We were pleased to find several Fieldfare in the nets on our first round.
Red sky in the morning heralded rain due later in the day.
There were also a couple of Redwing attracted by the audiolure.
Redwing aged 5 displaying a flash of red underwing.
We went on to put three additional nets up beneath a large pear tree where the fruit were fermenting.
There were a few more Fieldfare including a young bird with a single adult tail feather growing in amongst the faded and broken tipped juvenile retricies.
Fieldfare aged 5
Adult male Fieldfare
We managed a few Chaffinch, none of which were afflicted with diseased feet happily.
The morning was rounded off with a new species for ESA, the only bird from the pear tree configuration.
Mistle Thrush aged 5
Before we packed up in plenty of time to avoid the worse of the wind and all of the rain and went home to polish off a bottle of mulled wine. We only drink it after a good few hours outside, preferably with snow or frost on the ground and this has been our first opportunity this festive season (today being the 11th day of Christmas.)
Fieldfare - 9
Redwing - 6
Mistlethrush - 1
Great Tit - 1