Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A better sort of gardening?

An early start, for me anyway, as I had to travel into the 'floodlands' of north Bedfordshire. We 'd not had much luck in DH's garden last year at this time, but today was completely different. A couple of nets, one each side of his large, but fairly open, garden produced an abundance of birds today.

This not so little beauty was our first highlight; a full adult male Green Woodpecker, caught during breakfast, as it tried to land on Davy's springy, short-cropped lawn.

Next up was a 2CY male Coal Tit. An hour later, a 2CY female, possibly its mate. Later in the afternoon, repeated song came from one of the conifers in the garden.

As the day progressed, we were wondering where all the Robins were coming from. By the end of the day, we had had eight, four of each sex, but only the one 2CY bird (a female). All the ladies were getting brood patches. Most of the birds had small spots on the outer webs of the greater coverts, something which is rather uncommon on our CES birds at the park.
The only AA ring we used today was on a 6F Wren; the Lottis made no effort whatsoever to appear today.

This Marsh Tit was a real turn-up for the books! It was caught late morning and was another ringing tick for my hospitable trainee, Davy. Turns out it was a garden tick, too.

At midday, we experience another high with this Yellowhammer. Although not a garden tick, we had no hint of its presence beforehand. The men had been working noisily in and around the barns at the top end of the garden, busy loading materials to improve a farm track.

We had to let a couple of fully adult male Chaffinchs go unringed because they were suffering from 'scaly leg', a viral-induced tumour (squamous cell papilloma).

Excluding these, the final tally for the day was 66 new and 5 retraps from last winter (Feb 2009).
Green Woodpecker 1
Wren 1
Dunnock 3
Robin 6 (2)
Blackbird 2 (1)
Marsh Tit 1
Coal Tit 2
Blue Tit 23 (1)
Great Tit 18
Chaffinch 4 (1) +2 males
Greenfinch 4
Yellowhammer 1


Birdringal-andalus said...

Good work and fantastic blog, congratulations.

Peter Fearon said...

Sounds like a good session! I have had a couple of Chaffinches with the papilloma so far this winter, it doesn't seem to affect them too much though - we have recaught a number of birds with healthy weights and good fat and muscle scores.

Phil said...

Green woody, that's a nice one Errol. Send a few up here please.