I had planned to run a session in Webb’s Wood on Wednesday, but the weather was awful: high winds and rain, so I rescheduled for Sunday. The delay meant that the feeding station was set up on Monday, topped up on Thursday and Saturday, and delivered a nice catch on Sunday. Jonny was available to join me for the session. We were conservative with the net setting: just three nets near to the feeding station and a further five set along the main path. The feeding station nets were busy, the path nets were notable for the number of interesting birds flying just over the top (two Buzzard; Jay; Lesser Redpoll).
The highlights of the catch were our first ever Goldfinches for Webb’s Wood. They were a bit of a fluke: I had intended to put on a lure for Lesser Redpoll but picked up the wrong box, which was Goldfinch, so played that instead. In the very next round Jonny extracted our first Goldfinch for Webb’s Wood. We debated about whether or not to ring the bird: its left leg has a fully healed fracture, but we know that people opposed to ringing would claim that it was damaged as a part of the ringing process. I took the decision that the healed fracture is not obvious and there is potentially more information to be gained from ringing it and, hopefully, recatching it in future and seeing whether or not it is thriving. In the next round we extracted another two Goldfinch.
The first bird of the day was a new Marsh Tit. This is turning into a significant year for this species in the Braydon Forest: our 24th bird ringed so far. Webb’s is an example of how things seem to be picking up for this species: in 2013, the first year we ringed here, we ringed two individuals. Then, in 2014 to 2016 we ringed only one new bird each year: so far in 2017 we have ringed six new individuals in Webb’s Wood. Also, we have retrapped four individuals in the wood this year, whereas in previous years it has been just one individual in each of the previous years.