Monday, 12 December 2011

Linnet breeders still at home

With the weather turning a bit colder now linnets are finally coming onto one of the bait sites. 2 catches have produced 99 linnets and a few goldfinch, chaffy and greenies. 12 retrap linnets have included 4 colour-ringed adults, 2 juveniles and 3 pullus from this summer’s ringing at Girdleness.

Males Orange/Orange and White/Yellow ringed as breeding males in May 2011 and retrapped December (Raymond Duncan)

Mind you, if the linnets sat in the trees above the catching site and looked through a telescope they could see their nest sites 6kms away to the south. Hopefully we can get a few more flocks onto bait sites this winter scattered a bit further around the region to see how far adults and juveniles disperse and see how many survive the winter. It’s amazing how many actually survived the previous 2 winters given the deep snow we had and how long it lay in freezing conditions. We actually watched weakened linnets drop from the air through starvation at one site in January 2010 and had to refrain from catching large numbers at the bait site along with 5 different bunting species (snow, corn, reed, yellow and lapland) as conditions were just too extreme

Finch/bunting flock and 4 bunting species (Hywel Maggs)

Some very fluffy linnets on bait at New Aberdour 9/1/10 (Hywel Maggs)

It would appear not all of our local bred birds remain for the winter. Breeding female retrap Yellow/Yellow photographed below at Girdleness on 15/5/11 by local birder Graham Ruthvin, had originally been ringed as a juvenile on passage at Portland Bill, Dorset on 5/10/10.

Please have a go for those lintie flocks if you can.


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