Today was probably the smallest catch that I have blogged about, with only 9 birds caught, but it was a good session for all that. Dave Turner turned up to help as usual, only I was also joined today by Gemma Louise, Sarah, Ellie and Rowan from Sparsholt College’s animal handling team. Many thanks to them for their help and enthusiasm – despite the small catch. From the first bird: a retrapped Wren, to the last: a Woodpigeon, they were good company, interested and keen to take part. They are now looking to arrange a ringing demonstration at the college.
We caught another juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, our third in a week, in the second net round but the star bird arrived in the third round: the first Whitethroat caught at Tedworth House. It was a juvenile bird, no doubt making its way south from having fledged on Salisbury Plain:
The last bird caught today was a Woodpigeon. I am always a bit ambivalent about ringing Woodpigeons, given their propensity to end up as a starter in restaurants / gastro-pubs but, as with any other bird, I think that if I have inconvenienced it, no matter how trivially, by catching it, the least I can do is process the bird. So I ringed it. I ring few birds that take an F-size ring, so it is good practice for ringing other birds that take larger rings.
The list for the session was: Woodpigeon 1; Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Blue Tit 1; Wren (1); Robin 3; Blackcap 1; Whitethroat 1. Totals: 8 birds ringed from 6 species; 1 bird recaptured, making 9 birds processed from 7 species. All birds, except the Woodpigeon, were juveniles.
This funny little site, gradually being opened up and improved for wildlife, has now delivered 36 species, including some real stunners (Firecrest, Black Redstart) and birds you don’t find being caught in mist nets and ringed very often (Mallard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Mistle Thrush). If the promised delivery of a wildlife pond, and the opening up of a new ride in the wood, happen this winter we can look forward to, hopefully, broaching the 40 species mark next year.