Monday, 7 November 2011

Heavenly singing, flashing lights - what was going on?

On Saturday 5th November, I went ringing at Bromham Mill again. There was a misty and cold start to the day, then conditions gradually improved. After a slow start, the numbers of birds caught increased. Most of the Blue Tits (see right) caught were looking really smart and seem to be in good shape.

Part way through the morning, I could hear singing coming from nearby. It was unusual, but not unpleasant. Not much later two police 'panda' cars parked at the entrance to the mill. Two others also turned up as well as an ambulance, all with their lights flashing. It turns out that an African religious group have been meeting for evening services by the river bank, combined with baptising (or maybe washing away sins/spiritual cleansing) in the River Ouse. Now the clocks have gone back, they had decided to meet on the Saturday morning instead. Someone saw this and misinterpreted what was going on. Hence the arrival of the emergency services!

Totals ringed for the day were (with retraps in brackets):

  • Blue Tit 30 (2)

  • Great Tit 7 (1)

  • Chaffinch 1

  • Nuthatch 1

  • Blackcap 1

  • Coal Tit (1)

  • Total 40 (4)
3 of the retraps were ringed on Apple Day, 16th October; 1 Blue Tit had been ringed on 28th August. The Nuthatch (above left)was the 2nd I've ringed at the Mill this year. The female Blackcap (2nd from top, on the right) was the first I've ever ringed at Bromham Mill.

Other photos: Coal Tit (3rd from top, on the right), Chaffinch (lower right).

Thank you to Adrian Fett for the photos of the Chaffinch and Blackcap.

On Sunday 6th November I went back to Marston Vale Millennium Country Park, to see (in particular) what might be coming in to roost. With a northerly breeze, the temperate was low. The numbers of birds ringed was much less than on Saturday, but the ringing of the Cetti's Warbler, one of the 'star birds' of the site, more than made up for this. Totals ringed were as shown below (no birds were retrapped):

  • Blue Tit 1

  • Cetti's Warbler 1

  • Wren 1

  • Total: 3

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