Sunday, 14 March 2010

Bully for us!

At 6.30am Errol, Mike, Jo and myself met at Priory Country Park to find out what birds were around. We weren't exactly rushed of our feet but a few nice birds came our way. The wind was quite still when we arrived but picked up and started to blow the nets by the time they were up! We used the CES line and 2 extras.

Tally for the day was 6 new & 10 retraps:

Wren (1) - male from last summer
Dunnock 1 (3) - one was an 06 juv [1335 days]
Robin (1) - 08 juv
Song Thrush (1) - male from 17 July 08 (5M)
Blue Tit (1) - a 5F
Gt. Tit 2 (3) - all last years birds
Bullfinch 2 - poss a pr of 5's
Greenfinch 1 - a smart 6M

Most of the females were exhibiting signs of losing feathers on their bellies in preparation for the nesting season. One or two of the males were showing signs that they knew the breeding season is coming!

Above: We caught a female Bullfinch first & the male was seen calling nearby at the time of capture. It wasn't until later we caught this male.

Above: Errol couldn't let it go without a stern lecture!

Above: Many birders have observed the dramatic decline in numbers of Greenfinch - even since last year. There is much discussion as to the cause of the decline. It is sad to think that these birds are becoming a rare site in Bedfordshire!

Above: Errol & I both noticed some recent large mammal activity (a new hole in the ground & large amounts of soil) nearby and unusually for Errol, he was first to comment....! Apparently there aren't many records of this type of mammal visiting the park.

Above: This same mammal had left other signs of activity - scratches on logs/branches and the destruction of some of the logs left for insects/grubs. In the photo, the holes in the tops of the logs have been clawed at in search of food. That's a 300mm rule on the log - for comparison.

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