Sunday was a cold, overcast, morning with not a breath of wind – perfect for ringing, which usually seems to mean barely a handful of birds! However, on this occasion we struck lucky, which is just as well as I’d managed to convince some of the local student population to get out of their beds early on a Sunday morning to come along and have a look at what we do. The first net round produced 21 birds (19 more than the sum total of our efforts on the Wednesday a couple of weeks ago) including a new Redwing and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker first caught a couple of winters ago.
During the morning the catch was steady but consistent and we ended at lunchtime with a total of 88 birds of 12 species as follows (new/retrap): Yellowhammer (27/7), Great Tit (10/0), Blue Tit (5/8), Blackbird (7/1), Long-tailed Tit (1/6), Dunnock (4/0), Chaffinch (3/0), Goldfinch (3/0), Robin (2/1), Redwing (1/0) Great-Spotted Woodpecker (0/1) and finally a retrap Goldcrest from Orwin's.Ten new Great Tits at a site like this is pretty amazing and it makes you wonder if many of the locals have dies off in the bad weather and these are wandering survivors that have discovered the food source. They were all young birds which also makes sense.
Thanks to David H for the pics. Feedback from the students was good and they seemed to enjoy the session, so much so that they even gave us chocolate at the end!!