I had intended to carry out this session on Saturday but, as seems to be the way with me at present, illness intervened. Having got over it, I decided to carry out the session this morning.
I arrived on site at 5:45 and set up two sets of nets down the central glade: 2x18m + 1x12m and 3x18m + 1x12m. The whole central glade is getting quite enclosed, with the undergrowth spreading across the path. A strimming session might be needed pretty soon.
It was never particularly busy, just 3 or 4 birds per round. What was surprising was the complete absence of Blue Tits or Long-tailed Tits. Although I caught two adult Blackcaps, unlike the other sites I have been to recently, no juveniles.
There was a decent haul of Robins, five juveniles ringed, plus two adults retrapped. Chiffchaffs were also much in evidence, with seven of them ringed. Of those seven six were juveniles. The only Paridae in evidence were a juvenile Great Tit and my first juvenile Coal Tit of the year:
The list for the day was: Great Tit ; Coal Tit ; Wren 2; Robin (2); Song Thrush (1); Blackbird (1); Blackcap 2; Chiffchaff 1. Totals: 5 adults ringed from 3 species, 17 juveniles ringed from 6 species and 4 birds retrapped from 3 species, making 26 birds processed from 8 species.
One of the highlights of the morning was an explosion of Wrens as they fledged the nest. I didn’t look for the nest, but it had to be adjacent to the path, because all of a sudden these little chestnut bundles were buzzing around in the understorey right in front of me (and nowhere near my nets!). They were still there when I came back from doing my net round, and again when I went for the next round. There is something almost Bumblebee-like about the way they fly when they leave the nest or, at least, that’s how it seems to me.
With the catch having fallen right away by 10:30, I closed the nets at 11:00, as they were empty, took down and was off site by midday. It was a little disappointing that the catch wasn’t larger and more diverse. There was plenty of noise from Nuthatch, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers. With Ravensroost having produced a good haul of Long-tailed Tits last week I fully expected to get a few in the Firs and I had hoped for another juvenile Marsh Tit or two. Not to be, alas.