Out At Last: Sunday, 30th August 2020

It seems like a long time since I have managed to get out to get some ringing in on my sites.

I managed a short session at the Ravensroost Meadow complex on the 20th August, but the wind put a stop to that quite quickly, with just 15 birds caught: Blue Tit 1; Wren 2; Dunnock 1; Robin 2(1); Blackcap 1; Whitethroat 1; Chiffchaff 2; Willow Warbler 1; Goldcrest 1; Goldfinch 2. Totals: 14 birds ringed from 10 species and one retrap. Of these all bar the Goldcrest and Willow Warbler and one each of the Robin and Goldfinch were juveniles.

I did manage to get the nets open in my garden for two hours on the 27th August and caught 22 birds from just 4 species, before the rain started: Blue Tit 9(1); Long-tailed Tit 7; Starling 1; Goldfinch 3(1). Totals: 20 birds ringed from 4 species and 2 birds retrapped from 2 species. It is now difficult to correctly age the Long-tailed Tits, as they breed early and both the young and the adults undergo a full moult over the summer into the full adult plumage. Of the other 15 birds all bar the retrapped Blue Tit and Goldfinch were juveniles.

The adult Goldfinch was a nice catch. It was ringed as a juvenile in my garden in December 2014. This makes Z197498 at least 6 years old: a good age for a bird that lives for only 2 and a bit years on average. Another interesting point about the Goldfinches: the others were recently fledged juveniles. This means that, since lockdown, I have caught recently fledged juveniles in every month, including August: that is a full 6 months It is known that in good years Goldfinches can produce 3 broods: I wonder if they can actually produce 4 in exceptional circumstances? If I catch some in September I might be persuaded.

So to today: I was on site for 5:45. It was very cold, which means no mosquitos to annoy me whilst setting up. Despite a few net problems, I had all nets open by 7:00. I did catch a Robin as soon as the nets were open but things did not start to get active until the day started warming up. It never got hectic: 6 or 7 birds per round. What was surprising was that almost all of them were Blackcaps. The list for the morning was: Blue Tit 2; Great Tit 4; Dunnock (1); Robin 2; Blackbird (1); Reed Warbler 1; Blackcap 35(1); Whitethroat (1); Chiffchaff 1; Willow Warbler 1. Totals: 46 birds ringed from 8 species and 4 birds retrapped from 4 species, making 50 birds processed from 10 species.

The Blackbird, Dunnock and Reed Warbler, plus one of the Blue Tits, were adults, the remainder were juveniles.