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Jonny Cooper: Bailey’s Farm: Redwing Round 2
Regular readers of the blog will know that my last session at Bailey’s Farm (just outside Chippenham) delivered 44 Redwing and overall was the biggest session ever for the site. It was a brilliant, if tiring, session. Having noticed that there were still good-sized flocks of Redwing, Chaffinch and Greenfinch on site and the forecast set for low winds all morning I decided I would give the site another go.
Working solo means getting on site pretty early to ensure the nets are up in plenty of time to begin catching at first light. I timed it to perfection and finished setting up just as it got light. As usual the first round was the busiest, producing 35 birds. After this each round reduced a regular 15 or so birds.
The catch for the day was as follows: Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Magpie 1; Blue Tit 13(8); Great Tit 7(3); Long-tailed Tit (1); Dunnock 2(2); Meadow Pipit 3; Robin (3); Redwing 26; Song Thrush 3(1); Goldcrest 1; Starling 7; Chaffinch 15(3); Greenfinch 20; Yellowhammer 2; Reed Bunting 3. Totals: 104 birds ringed from 14 species and 21 re-trapped from 7 species. A grand total of 125 birds processed from 16 species.
Another fantastic catch overall; 26 Redwing takes the total ringed on site this winter to 84. The Magpie was a good bird. Some people often unfairly and unjustly vilify them for no good reason, but they are beautiful birds close-up. Catching two Yellowhammer were also a highlight. So far, they have been missing from the catch this winter and I haven’t seen any on site; so catching these two was reassuring that they are still present in the area.
It is always amazing to see the number and variety of birds thriving on this farmland site. I have said this time and time again, but farmers like this are a shining example of how to farm effectively but in a way that in sympathetic to wildlife. It is a pleasure to be able to help monitor the birdlife on site.
Andrew Bray: Lacock Allotments
I set up a single 12m net in the dark and started my round shortly afterwards but there were no birds in the net until 07:40. There were only 2 Robins then, but the day got better thereafter. The sun started to shine through, but it remained very cold. At 08:00 I ringed a new male Nuthatch and retrapped another later. They were clealy males: the colour under the wing and on the under-tail coverts is brick red. As usual there were a lot of Blue and Great Tits!
The list for the day was: Nuthatch 1(1); Blue Tit 9(5); Great Tit 8(4); Coal Tit 2(2); Dunnock 1(1); Robin (2); Blackbird 1. Totals: 22 birds ringed from 6 species; 15 birds retrapped from 6 species, making 37 birds processed from 7 species.