23rd Nov: Yet another species to add to the list! A Chaffinch this time at Simar, an adult female. Had eluded me so far with two ringed by other trainees on Comino and up to 9 ringed at Simar in one session but always when I was at uni. Ringed 24 birds in all, of course as always under supervision of a licensed ringer who is also my trainer with most being Chiffchaffs, with a few Robins and Blackcaps. Retrapped 2 Moustached warblers from earlier in the season, a record of 8 have been ringed at Simar this autumn, two of them at least seem to have decided to stay for a while. A curious retrap or rather retraps, were a pair of Sardinian warblers caught together, they had been first ringed this September when they had also been caught together...
One of eight Moustached Warblers ringed this autumn at Simar
Another session at Simar on the 25th. Quite varied with a Dunnock, two Reed Buntings (did 7 in all so far), a Song Thrush and a Sardinian Warbler apart from a few Chiffchaffs and Robins. Retrapped a Wryneck from earlier in the autumn, two Cetti's Warblers and a 1st year male Sardinian Warbler male first caught as a juvenile in July 2005! Its all black flight feathers contrasting to the 1st year which had half the secondaries tinged brown.
A good session on the 27th, up to 29 species with a Tree Sparrow. A Yellow-browed Warbler, the 4th record this autumn was caught too, so we had something to answer with to the birders seawatching and seeing a small passage of Shelduck and even better 5 Red-brested mergansers and a flock of 10 Wigeon.
Ringed my second Black Redstart, a 1st year male, three Blackcaps plus 9 chiffchaff and 2 Robin.
Yellow-browed Warbler, an annual vagrant in Malta, Photo by Adin Vella
Two Tree Sparrows, the bird on the right ringed today and the one on the left ringed in the early summer as a female with brooding patch, photo Adin Vella
The first bird ringed on the 30th at Simar, was a Black Redstart raising hopes for a good session but only 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Spanish Sparrows were ringed. A retrap Kingfisher from the 14th September of this year, was the first I hand handled and a good compensation. We also retrapped the third Robin ringed this autumn, on the 3rd October.In the evening another short session at another site, with three Meadow Pipits, one for each trainee plus a few Chiffchaffs.
Adult female Black Redstart ringed at Simar, note only slightly dark vane of 6th tail feather indicator of an adult bird.
Tomorrow and Sunday more ringing awaits!