Friday, 14 January 2011

Brack, Wed 12 Jan - Where have all the birds gone?

What an odd season this is. As I type it's mild, damp and a Song Thrush is in full song outside and yet only days ago temperatures were sub-zero and everything was frozen solid. The catch at Brack on Wednesday was perhaps ther worst ever with only two birds caught and several ringers I've spoken to are experiencing similar disappointing catches, not least the group members who visit Rushcliffe Country Park. Also, many people are mentioning to me how quiet their garden feeders are. So although Wednesday's ringing seems almost embarrassing to mention, there is undoubtedly a story unfolding here which is worth documenting. So where are the birds? Have we witnessed an enormous die off caused by the cold weather? Have birds been displaced? With the sudden mild weather have birds returned to the hedgerows to feed? Perhaps once ringing results from across the country are collated for the period we will begin to get a clearer picture, but in the meantime any data, even a catch of two birds, is significant and adds to our understanding.


  1. It would have been three birds, but a Blue Tit escaped from the bird bag!

  2. Schoolboy error Jim!

    We have also noticed a drop-off in some species, particularly Chaffinches. We can report however, that Goldcrests seem to coped reasonably well during the cold snap!

  3. Not mine this time! It's going to be an interesting couple of months seeing what the fall out has been from the recent cold weather.