Monday, 15 February 2010

Monday, Monday!

A day of mamas and papas?

Another catch was taken at the Blunham trap overnight, this time of 182 birds as follows:
Mallard 6 (11)
Gadwall 8 (43)
Tufted 47 (54)
Pochard 1 (1)
Wigeon 3 (7)
Greylag 1
I haven't had a chance to speak to Chris yet (I couldn't go, as you will see) but the last seven weeks have seen a goodly number of birds ringed and retrapped here.

My efforts remained within the garden. I couldn't "disappear" (even with a mobile) as I was expecting some important 'phone calls. So I erected a couple of nets early on this cold and damp day. Object - Goldfinches.

It started off with a 6 male Blackbird, one that I have not seen at all before. The resident pair and the neighbouring pair are keeping the garden clear of interlopers - but none of them were around today, probably too busy nest building and standing guard in other peoples' gardens. Or hiding somewhere warm and dry!

I did eventually catch 10 Goldies, two of which were retraps, both ringed as post juveniles in previous years. There were 4 females and 6 males, none of them carrying any fat worth talking about. The first bird of the day was the heaviest (a male at 17.3g), though the rest were not 'underweight', and only two birds scored 2 on breast muscle.

At lunch time, five Long-tailed Tits managed not to avoid the nets, and some others called anxiously from the neighbouring gardens as their companions were extracted. One female was beginning to get a decent brood patch and one of the males was real feisty; perhaps the alpha pair. Their cousins down at the park have already started splitting up into pairs, with or without helpers.

The only other birds to not dodge the nets were a new Dunnock and a new 6 female Blue Tit that was acquiring a brood patch. It looks as though we were just in time erecting the last 10 boxes (to make 30 in all) at the park last weekend. One box was even being investigated by a pair of Blue Tits within 24 hours. My garden tit box remains untenanted meanwhile.

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