May 5th 2013 will certainly go down in the annals of the group as a red letter day. Mark and Dave ringed at two gardens on the edge of Bowland and caught 129 birds the bulk of which were Lesser Redpoll with 9 Siskin. Good catch, but the amazing thing was that 9 of these birds (7 Lesser Redpoll and 2 Siskin) were controls. Their first thought was that they were birds ringed just a short distance away in the Ribble Valley. However we now have details of 6 of the Redpolls and a Siskin.
Of the Lesser Redpolls one was ringed just 8 days previously in Lincolnshire, one ringed late March at Thetford in Norfolk. Others were from winter or autumn passage ringing in Sussex, Cheshire, South Yorkshire and Cumbria. The Siskin had been ringed just 15 days previously at the same site in Lincolnshire as the Redpoll.
There is usually a passage of Lesser Redpolls through our area in early May, but this year with the poor spring weather passage lasted right through May. In total the group caught 256 Redpolls during May.of which 20 were controls. Details have come through from the Ringing Office of 13 of these and besides the ones detailed above they included birds ringed in winter in Kent, Surrey (2) ,Norfolk, Suffolk, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.