Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Brackenhurst, Monday 10 February

With windy weather stopping us ringing the last couple of weeks, and Atlantic storms reaching all the way to Nottinghamshire over the weekend, it was nice to get an all too brief window of calm weather on Monday morning. The group took advantage of this and a decent sized team consisting of Jim, Gary, Liz, Geoff, Duncan and myself met at Brackenhurst and headed down to see what was about, joined by Rebecca on another research session looking at feather mites on Yellowhammers for her dissertation project.

The site seemed quiet, with only a Robin singing in the darkness as we erected the nets, and didn't get particularly busy all morning, although large flocks of Fieldfare and Starling were feeding on the fields surrounding the ringing station. Other sightings included 2 Buzzards sat atop some pylons, and a Raven cronking somewhere in the distance.

We set nets in Orwin's to try and beckon down some more Redwing, and although one bird complied on the first net round, the nets were to remain empty for the remainder of the day. We couldn't even tempt a nearby Green Woodpecker in with some taped calls.

The nets in the feeding station were also quiet, with numbers of Chaffinch building through the morning, but little else of note. Another House Sparrow was caught, perhaps showing that they are using this as a regular feeding area now. The most notable thing was a lack of Yellowhammers, which meant Rebecca had a quiet morning, with only two caught, leaving us scratching our heads as to where they all might be.

The total catch was 39 birds, of which 25 were retraps, and are as follows (new/retrap) - Redwing 1/0, Wren 1/1, Dunnock 0/3, Robin 1/0, Blue Tit 1/4, Great Tit 5/4, House Sparrow 1/0, Chaffinch 4/11, Yellowhammer 0/2.


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