No Crossbills today, instead I opted for a canon net catch of Lapwings on the Ythan with GRG.
A fantastic bright and sunny autumnal day, warm in the sun and not too early a start which, for someone who works late like me, is a real plus point. Firing in eraly afternoon we caught 105 Lapwings ( 2 later escaped from the sacks they were temporarily held in - not my fault !) , 1 Golden Plover and 9 Starlings. I got to do a whole chunk of the peewits and it was a chance to do some wader type bios - total head, bill length and total foot as well as wing measurements on birds larger than I am used to. Perhaps rather worryingly we only caught one juv and this was a bird that was ringed at Rattray as a pullus by another GRG member. Has it been such a poor year for breeding with Lapwings ?
A few of the adults had completed their primary moult and most were only one primary short of completing. Some were showing signs of weird secondary moult with seemingly retained feathers. Fantastic birds to handle though, one of the best I have done.
I also got to do the Goldie after 'drawing lots' with one of the trainers ( for whom it would also have been a ringing tick ). I aged it as a juv according to Marchant.
Got to do a large chunk of the catch and subsequently learned lots. Rather bizzarely it was a ringing session where there were 3 trainers and only one trainee.