Blakehill Farm: Tuesday, 4th December 2018

With foul weather to end November, unfortunately the start of December is not looking too clever either.  Having been unable to get out since a week ago Sunday, and with rain forecast for the rest of the week, and today being scheduled to be flat calm and dry, I took advantage of being my own boss to have a ringing session this morning.  Unfortunately, the rest of the crew having jobs and other responsibilities, it was going to be me on my own.  I decided on Blakehill Farm, as an opportunity to catch a few Redwing. They roost in the trees on edge of the Chelworth Industrial Estate and feed in the hedgerows on the perimeter track and out on the central plateau.

I didn’t plan to set too many nets, and in the event I didn’t set as many as I intended because, having set up the second net set, the Redwing started arriving regularly and in number.  Redwing continued to be caught throughout the morning, with the last being extracted at 11:30.  Prior to today, the largest catch of Redwing the West Wilts Ringing Group has had was 39 at Blakehill in November 2016. Today eclipsed that, with a total haul of 70.

Whilst the session was dominated by the Redwing, I caught a number of other species typical of Blakehill’s hedgerows and plateau.  Linnet numbers seem to have fallen away recently, so to catch a pair this morning was a pleasant bonus:

2018_121_04Linne

As well as the Redwing, I caught the following: Great Tit 1; Dunnock 1; Meadow Pipit 1; Robin 2; Blackbird 6; Goldfinch 1; Linnet 2; Reed Bunting 1.   A total of 85 birds ringed from 9 species.