We had hoped to have another farmland session at Brown’s Farm this morning but the forecast was for windy weather so I changed venue to Ravensroost Wood. I set up a feeding station, and cut the appropriate net rides, on Tuesday. Next time I really must remember to take my gardening gloves, as the dog rose fought back:
The net setup was as shown on the diagram below:
1 = 2 x 18m; 2 = 12m; 3 = 9m; 4 & 5 = 6m; 6 = 3 x 18m.
I was joined for the session by Ellie, Rosie and Anna and by Samuel and his mum, Claire. This was Samuel’s third session with me, and his first time actually processing some birds. So far he has been learning how to hold them and how not to react when Blue Tits and Great Tits let you know that they are displeased.
The feeding station did its job, and we had a good haul of Blue and Great Tits, but so did the bird seed dispensers, as we also attracted in both Chaffinches and Lesser Redpoll. On visiting Ravensroost yesterday to check on and top up the bird feeders, I noticed a large flock of Redwing, so we set the net ride number 6 with a lure playing for the first couple of hours. It did attract in a couple of Redwing and a Song Thrush. The only (slight) disappointment of the session was that there was a good sized flock of Long-tailed Tits flying around the woodland adjacent to net ride 6 and we didn’t manage to catch a single one.
The list for the day was: Great Spotted Woodpecker (1); Nuthatch (2); Blue Tit 21(4); Great Tit 7(3); Coal Tit (2); Marsh Tit (3); Song Thrush 1; Redwing 2; Chiffchaff 1; Goldcrest (2); Chaffinch 3; Lesser Redpoll 6. Totals: 41 birds ringed from 7 species and 17 birds recaptured from 7 species, making 58 birds processed from 12 species.
As much as it was very pleasing to recapture three Marsh Tits, the highlights for the team had to be the Lesser Redpoll. In particular, it was good to have some clearly marked adult males in the catch to contrast with an adult female:
Samuel started his ringing career by ringing two Chaffinch and a Blue Tit and processing a recaptured Great Tit and Coal Tit.
A couple of the team had to leave at 11:00 to get their Covid-19 booster shots and, as the number of birds had dropped off, we did a last round at 11:20, closed the nets and took down. We were off site by just after midday.