This is a blog post by Jonny Cooper:
The site at East Tytherton was my first proper solo ringing site after achieving my C-permit. Since I first started ringing there it has proven itself to be a good site for wintering flocks of finches and other farmland birds. With the weather feeling more autumnal I decided to undertake a session to see how things are progressing this year.
Recently I have become slightly obsessed with catching Meadow Pipits so, in addition to my normal nets, I set a Mipit triangle in one of the fields. The first round delivered around 20 birds, including 11 Meadow Pipits. For the next couple of hours things continued at this sort of pace. However, I noticed some large flocks of Gold and Greenfinch flying around.
Typically, if I see finch flocks on site I tend to catch good numbers of them late morning so, when I went to check the nets just after 10am, I was bracing myself. I was right, over the next two hours I caught almost 80 birds: mostly finches.
The list for the day was: Blue Tit 17(3), Great Tit 9(4), Long-tailed Tit (1), Dunnock 1(1), Meadow Pipit 41, Redwing 6, Goldcrest 2, House Sparrow 1, Chaffinch 5(1), Greenfinch 20, Goldfinch 28 & Yellowhammer 1. 131 birds ringed from 11 species and 10 re-traps from 5 species, giving a total of 141 birds processed from 12 species.
41 Meadow Pipits is a great catch, as well as good numbers of Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Half a dozen Redwing also gave the morning the distinct feel of Autumn and, of course, Yellowhammers are always a joy to see up close.
I have mentioned this before, but this farmland is brilliant for birds. The land is managed in a very sympathetic way for wildlife and it is really paying dividends.
A fantastic session and it has left my very excited to see what the rest of autumn and this coming winter has in store.