Webb’s Wood: Saturday, 10th October 2020

Things are beginning to return to some sort of normality (at last). Today I had my second session with Lucy and my first with Alice since the lockdown, as she has returned to the area to start her PhD.

Webb’s Wood was the next on the list for a session and, with wind being forecast, a woodland site made sense. We arrived on site at 6:30 and had the nets open by 7:30. The first birds arrived soon after, but it was very slow throughout the morning. Unfortunately, although the sun did keep putting in an appearance, the place just never really warmed up and the activity levels were very low. It seemed that each round delivered just two birds: one each for Alice and Lucy to process.

I put on lures for Chiffchaff and Blackcap, to see if there were any still around (they weren’t), and also for Redwing, to see if any had arrived yet (they haven’t). It wasn’t just wishful thinking: one has been caught on this date in the last two years, both at Somerford Common, and we can expect them to arrive in numbers during the course of this month.

The catch for the day was: Blue Tit 1; Great Tit 1; Coal Tit 2; Long-tailed Tit 1(1); Wren 2; Robin (1); Blackbird 1; Goldcrest 11(2). Totals: 19 birds ringed from 7 species and 4 birds retrapped from 3 species, making 23 birds processed from 8 species.

We had a good haul of Goldcrests again. I don’t lure for them until after 10:00, to give them time to forage and feed up after the night time. All bar one of them that we caught today weighed over 5g, so it looks as if most are on track to get to the weight they will need for the winter period.

The wind started to really get up at about 10:30, so we closed and took down the exposed nets first, finally leaving site just before midday. It is fairly typical of a session at this time of year: in between migrants, and no feeding stations set up yet. Still, an enjoyable session and very pleased with the skills and application of my two recent recruits.