I was out ringing yesterday morning at The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Carr Vale Reserve with my trainer and 3 other members of Sorby Breck Ringing Group. We arrived at 06.00hrs, hoping to trap and ring a few summer migrants. By the end of the morning we had caught 25 birds, which included 3 Chiffchaffs and a couple of Blackcaps.
One of the Chiffchaffs was a retrap, a bird that we had caught before, and it turned out to be a bird that we had first caught last July at Carr Vale. Interestingly, the bird had been caught by Alan last year, and he also "processed" it today. It would be great to know where it had spent the winter. Southern Europe perhaps, or even further south??
Another bird that was very interesting this morning was a female Reed Bunting.
This bird was identified as a female by the presence of a brood patch, but, as you can see from the above picture, it had a great deal of black on the face. which is more normal in a male bird (see here for typical male and female birds). Apparently there is evidence that some female Reed Bunting's colouring becomes more "male-like" as they get older, but this bird was aged as 5, i.e. born last year, so what's happening is a bit of a puzzle. That's the joy of ringing, always lots more questions than answers!!