Tuesday, 1 December 2009


The outside temperature this morning started at minus 3.5C. Because it was so cold, I didn't open the nets until 09:30. However, these weren't the nets down the park but the ones in my garden. Trouble was, I didn't surface until 08:30 - SAD.

However, we made up for it during daylight and finished up catching 21 birds of 7 species.
Collared Dove 1, Dunnock (1), LTT (2), Goldcrest 1, Starling 1, Greenfinch 4, Goldfinch 8 (3).

The COLDO was the second this autumn and the third one caught this year, all here. When they do hit the net, they usually manage to wiggle their way out again. The real turn up was the adult male Goldcrest; I've not had one in the garden for 4 years - and that was also an adult. The ones caught at the park or in the wood are, more often than not, 1CY birds (or 2's). Do the adults know there's better pickings in garden shrubberies, I wonder?

The numbers of new Goldfinches caught during autumn in the garden is unpredictable. For instance, here are the last three years 'new birds' by month ('07, '08, '09)
September - 44, 30, nil,
October - 53, 55, 25,
November - 29, 55, 29,
December - 34, 10, ??
At the park, we caught steadily in August and September mainly juveniles. I think that they had a spectacular breeding season but not one visited the garden. November has been a wash-out for ringing (or blow-out), but very large numbers of Goldfinches have been seen exiting the country, especially in Dorset, very recently.

Well, no more ringing for me for at least a week, what with the weather forecast and Swanwick coming up. I expect the others will manage to get out to the sewage works and relieve their withdrawal symptoms over the weekend.

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