Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Target species aquired! Feeders up for a second week, tape lure at the ready. 14 new birds ringed!

Above & Below: Siskin no.1.

Above & Below: The tail shape (pointed) in the photograph above is indicative of a juvenile bird (born this year) whereas the rounded tail shape in the photograph below is that of an adult (born last year or before).

Many of the 14 Siskin caught were males and many of them juveniles. None had rings on, though I am hopeful that I will get some interesting recoveries as there is a good chance of this with Siskins.

Interestingly, the biometrics (wing length & weight) were remarkably similar amongst all the birds (wing length 73 or 74mm and weight around 12.3 or 12.4grams).

See http://greenwoodringer.blogspot.com/ for more info/photographs.

See http://priorycountrypark.blogspot.com/ for info/photographs of Saturday's session at Priory Country Park.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Cardington, 28th November 2010

Sunday morning was very cold. The pond at Bedford Park was mostly frozen, as was Longholme Lake. The River Ouse by the Embankment also had ice. At Cardington, the temperature was initially about -7.5 degree Centigrade. The ground was frozen hard, but we had escaped the snow. The good news was that there was no wind. I kept a very close eye on the nets; the aim was to remove birds quickly from the nets and process them as soon as possible. In order to do this more quickly, fewer measurements were taken than normal.

Totals for the day were 28 new birds ringed and 14 retraps (retrap totals shown in brackets):

Blackbird 1
Blue Tit 4 (7)
Chaffinch 2 (1)
Dunnock 1 (4)
Goldfinch 7
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1)
Great Tit 2
Greenfinch 5
Magpie 1
Robin 2 (1)
Siskin 1
Song Thrush 1
Wren 1

The Great Spotted Woodpecker retrapped was one of the young male birds I ringed at the same site on 30th October 2010.

The Magpie and Siskin (see right for a photo of the female Siskin) was the first bird of either species that I have ringed at the site.

The male Greenfinches were looking amazing, really bright yellow/green and very smart.

The total of 14 retraps suggests that many of the birds previously ringed are resident locally. Perhaps of particular interest are the 4 retrap Dunnocks:

Ring No. Date ringed Retrap history
P546608 21/06/09 05/07/09, 23/05/10, 30/10/10, 28/11/10
P546635 27/06/09 28/11/10
P546665 31/01/10 06/11/10, 28/11/10
P546687 26/09/10 30/10/10, 28/11/10

The fact that 608 has been caught 5 times now suggests it lives on the site most of the time. But what about 635? It was ringed a week later than 608 but today was the first time it has been retrapped. Where has it been in the mean time?

I am also getting a good number of Blue Tit retraps, but so far no Greenfinch or Goldfinch retraps - this could suggest that either the population is big and so the chances of getting a retrap are small, or the birds are moving through the area and not staying put. Time will tell.

Apart from the birds ringed, about 10 Lapwings drifted over and were in one of the fields near the village later on. There was one Goldcrest on site. A small flock of Fieldfares were in the hedgerow down the road as I left.