Goldfinch versus Greenfinch



So far to date we have ringed 962 Goldfinch our best year ever. Its interesting to look back over the years and trace the increase of Goldfinch both as a breeding bird in our area and of course as a bird at feeding stations where most of our birds are caught. Looking back to 1960 before mist nets we ringed 326 Greenfinch but only one Goldfinch! By 1984 were ringed 521 Greenfinch but just 24 Goldfinch. How things have changed to date this year we have ringed 517 Greenfinch but 962 Goldfinch. 

The Greenfinch number is hearting though, for in recent years the disease trichomonsis has depleted the population we reached  a low of 278 in 2015  but numbers have increased over the past three years.Goldfinch are apparently quite mobile at this time of year ,we had  two movements between our feeding sites, one moved 40 Km.
  

This autumn has seen several quick movers, a Chiffchaff ringed on October 6th  was in Dorset 4 days later. A Sedge Warbler ringed on 27th July was in NW France 16 days later. While a Reed Warbler ringed on August 8th was in southern Spain15 days later. It is only our 6th Reed Warbler from Spain compared to 29 from France.

The build up of Little Egret in recent years has been amazing. Peak numbers of course occur in late summer/early autumn. Colour ringing has shown that many of these are young birds, bred that year with sightings of birds ringed as nestlings usually in May or June from Kent, Lincolnshire and amazing of all, eleven from Wales. This year a new location was added with a nestling from Hartlepool in the NE. Interesting that so many move north after fledging, before moving south in late autumn winter.

John

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