For our first session of the New Year we headed for Red Lodge. I was delighted to be joined for the session by Fraser Bell. Fraser and I have ringed together off and on for some 9 years, and he has progressed to his A-permit this year. We were also joined by Jonny, Andrew and David for the morning. It was a good experienced team and, despite only setting 11 nets, totalling 195 metres, we caught a creditable 100 birds from 13 species. We had an indication that we would have a decent haul: I had filled the feeders up yesterday lunchtime and the two seed-feeders were emptied and the peanut feeders had been reduced by a quarter.
What we hadn’t expected was the return of the Redwing. Over the last couple of weeks they had definitely dispersed: one cold morning and there were flocks around again. We saw plenty and managed to catch 16 during the morning.
My favourite catch of the morning was a Coal Tit (photograph below) which I ringed as an adult in February 2013, making it at least 7 years old and probably over 8 years. The record is 9 years and 2 months, but the typical lifespan is just 2 years.
We also recovered a Blue Tit that was ringed as a juvenile in the Firs in November 2018. We are used to recovering Blue and Great Tits that have moved around the Braydon Forest, but this is the first movement from the Firs to Red Lodge that we have established.
The list for the day was: Nuthatch (3); Blue Tit 25(23); Great Tit 4(5); Coal Tit 6(2); Marsh Tit 1(1); Long-tailed Tit 5; Wren 2; Dunnock (1); Robin (1); Redwing 16; Goldcrest 2; Chaffinch 1(1); Bullfinch 1. Totals: 63 birds ringed from 10 species; 37 birds recaptured from 8 species, making 100 birds processed from 13 species.
*Update: In this catch was a recaptured Blue Tit, ring number S589485. It was ringed at Stansore Point, near Lepe Country Park in Hampshire on the 7th November 2016. It has travelled 99km NNW in just over 2 years. Not the longest movement recorded but pretty impressive for a non-migratory species.