Yesterday, Dave, Brendan, Hannah and I had another go at ringing Hawfinches at one of our North Wales ringing sites for our RAS project. Catching has been a bit slow so far this year, presumably because there has been a lot of natural food around. One of the sites has hosted a large Brambling flock for the past few weeks but frustratingly they have shown an almost total disinterested in the black sunflowers we have been putting out. The Hawfinch hadn't been showing that much more interest either!
Setting my new Moudry whoosh net in the Hawfinch wood
Thankfully something has now changed and the Hawfinch at least seemed very keen to avail themselves of free supplies. During the course of the day we whoosh-netted 36 different Hawfinch including 17 new birds for what is our record catch of the past 4 years. We have now ringed 49 new Hawfinch already this year and traditionally our best catching period in still to come in mid-late April as the birds prepare to either migrate or nest. Fingers crossed that the increased interest is maintained.