Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The rain has stopped ...

Ringing this morning! Whoopee!! It was a walk-in job as the meadow is rather wet (understatement). Davy had 58 Magpies leaving the roost (close to our feeders) before I got there. We managed to get 4 nets up by half-eight.

First out was a 1CY 'continental' Blackbird; this one was easy since it had 1 ogc. Then a run of residents, Robin, Gt. Tit, Dunnock & Blue Tit. A repetitive racket by the feeding station heralded the above noisy male.

With 3 ogc, it had to be an adolescent Gt. Spotted Woodpecker hollering; but when it came to extraction, it was one of the most timid I have had to deal with. The same net round delivered up this rather grey (continental) female Robin.

Then came the prize of the day! It was in the feeder net, a little way away from where the Dendrocopus was; top shelf near the pole - so it was only just!

The female Blackcap had a wing of 77, weighed 20.7 gm and had fat of 3 and muscle 2. Obviously in good nick! Then it was a dumpy Bullfinch with 5 ogc (not seen that before) but a weight of 25 gm.
Then more tits at the feeders, a Wren, another 'continental' Blackbird - and two more, both visitors, managed to get out before we could grab them - before we caught two of the 70 or so Redwings knocking about around the site.

Both of these birds were adults. Perhaps the older birds linger longer, seeking out the few bushes that still have plenty of haws on which tend to be secretted away and not readily spotted, even by us.
That wasn't the end of a much photographed ringing session; the last but one bird was this very "dirty looking" specimen of a Gt. Tit that looked as if it had spent its whole life "down pit".

After 4 hours, the final tally was 10 species and 30 birds as follows (retraps in brackets).
Gt. Spot 1, Wren (1), Dunnock 1 (2), Robin 1 (1), Blackbird 2, Redwing 2, Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 3 (6), Gt. Tit 1 (7), Bullfinch 1.
A Siskin or two whizzing about from alder tree to alder tree. DK had a couple of Goldeneye on the main lake, too. Both Kestrel & Sparrowhawk mobbed by the Crows.
So the Gt. Tits win again? Not quite!Beaten by one! The final pic is of a six-and-a-half year old female Blue Tit! This is the first time she has been recaught since she was a 3JF.

If the weather sets fair for the next week or ten days, fingers crossed, we'll be back out again with some nets.

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