Farmland nr Chippenham: Friday, 1st March 2019

This is a post by Jonny Cooper:

Friday (1st March) saw me undertake a session at my farmland site just outside Chippenham.  This site is very open, meaning that it can be difficult to get sessions in if there is any wind. The forecast for the morning was low wind and overcast with some sunshine, perfect ringing weather for this site.

I aimed to have all the nets open as the sun was rising which meant that I arrived on site quite early to set the nets. All the nets were open by around 6:45. The first round proper delivered 12 birds; this round often catches 40-50% of the total catch at this site so I was expecting a catch of 20-30 birds. However, as the morning progressed the rounds continued to produce 10 or so birds each time leading to a total of 71 birds being processed across the morning.

The total catch was: Blackbird (3); Blue Tit 4(3); Chaffinch 9(1); Dunnock 4(1); Goldfinch 3; Great Tit 3(2); Greenfinch 11; House Sparrow 6; Linnet 1; Reed Bunting 6(1); Robin 4(1); Yellowhammer 7(1). Totals: 58 new from 11 species and 13 recaptured from 8 species, making 71 birds processed from 12 species.

There were many highlights to the catch, the single Linnet was a new bird for the site, I have often seen them around but not been lucky enough to catch them before:

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6 House Sparrow was also unexpected, with only a single bird being caught before the session. There were also reasonable numbers of Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer; the last two being key farmland bird species that are on the UK Red List.

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Overall a very pleasing session that continues to show the excellent farm management for wildlife undertaken on site.