Webb’s Wood: Saturday, 12th January 2019

On a cool, blustery morning Jonny Cooper, Andrew Bray and I took ourselves off to Webb’s Wood. One of the benefits of woodland sites at this time of year is that they are relatively sheltered from the wind, depending upon the prevailing direction, so we can carry out ringing activities when other habitats would not be available.  The downside is that the variety will not be that great.  We were able to set up four short net rides plus nets by the feeding station.  The feeding station gave a good indication of what we were likely to catch.   I topped up the feeders on Thursday morning: the peanut feeder was half empty, the seed feeder hadn’t been touched.  True to expectation, those nets delivered just Blue, Great and Coal Tits.

However, it was a relaxed session with a reasonable catch and variety.  The list was: Nuthatch (1); Treecreeper 1; Blue Tit 6(4); Great Tit 1(3); Coal Tit 2(3); Long-tailed Tit 3; Robin 1(1); Goldcrest 8(1).  Totals: 22 birds ringed from 7 species, 13 birds recaptured from 6 species, making 35 birds processed from 8 species.

Any session where we catch 9 Goldcrests is a good session.  They are very attracted to MP/3 lures.  Being birds that weigh in the region of 5g, I am always mindful of their welfare and so I never put a lure on for them if the temperature is very low.  As it wasn’t too cold this morning, I did put on a lure, but not until 10:30 this morning.  I didn’t want to target them until they had a good chance to feed up.  We then caught 9 in the next hour: which just underlines how attracted they are to lures.  They were all processed and released without mishap.  It is what we expect, but always good to be able to report it.

There were several small flocks of Redpoll around, but they weren’t stopping, just flying through. Hopefully we will catch a few in the next couple of months.

We closed the nets at 11:30 and were away from site by just gone midday: with Andrew heading off purposefully to find the Smew at the Cotswold Water Park.