20 March 2010

Goldfinches on the move

Spring is in the air in Norfolk and you do wonder if birds are on the move... On Wednesday morning I caught a ringed Goldfinch (L117545) in my garden just outside Norwich which was originally ringed at on 31 January at Iken, near Woodbridge, on the Suffolk coast. Presumably this bird had wintered in Suffolk, or further south, and was moving north when I recaught it.

Only a few kilometres down the road, Stuart Newson from the BTO has had a Scottish ringed Goldfinch is his garden all winter. This was originally ringed as a juvenile bird at Nether Falla (Borders) in August 2009, so would have moved south for the winter. There is generally this southward shift of Goldfinches in the winter, and Goldfinch is the classic 'partial migrant'.

Interestingly, the map above shows all foreign movements of Goldfinches from Britain and Ireland, but hides the real picture. So whilst there have been 542 recoveries of English-ringed Goldinches abroad (mostly to Spain (263) and France(176)), only two Scottish-ringed birds have moved abroad (to Belgium and Portugal)!

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