Friday, 27 November 2009

Blues away

Withdrawal symptoms now departed. Six days is a long time in a ringer's life if he/she has not handled a bird!

The wind had dropped a little overnight, so I was up in the dark, dressed and had the garden nets unfurled before 7am. I was determined to 'fondle' a few Goldfinches today! Quick! Shovel down some breakfast (and a catalogue of pills) - it's parky outside today.

My dreams were answered - 30 "Stillits" (wonderful Norwegian name) including 5 retraps. The average weight of the 17 males was 15.73 grams and the 13 females 14.17 g. The age classes were split 50:50. Half a dozen birds were still wanting to come in while I furled the nets as the wind speed was picking up and I wanted the captured birds to get back on the feeders asap.

I don't bother to check them for fat/muscle as they stay down at their "fight or flight" weights; if the weight is >0.20 of the wing length then they are likely to be >F1 and probably on the move at this time of year. [At >0.22 they certainly are]. The "residents" know where the food supplies are and tend to keep on the 'lean side'. In midwinter, however, all those that are likely to survive a cold spell fulfil the criteria of 'wt(g) => 0.2 wl(mm)"

Also in the bag - 3F Blue Tit r/t, 3F Greenfinch and a 4M Collared Dove, the first for the year. Often there are 9 COLDOs hogging the feeders later in the day.


Phil said...

Looks like you got a little window of weather to exercise your pliers there Errol. Wish we could, but I'm still keeping the WD40 close just in case.


Errol said...

By the way, the pic is of a 3M (obw/ts)