The plan was an early start at Brackenhurst today, but this was somewhat hampered by me returning home to fetch my rings. Still it was a chance to give the skidpan roads near there another go. It certainly made up for my early morning lack of caffeine! This meant we lost an hour's ringing time at the best time of the day. My apologies to Duncan, Lorna & Tom.
Still, for all that, we had ourselves a busy morning with 114 birds processed. We had two initial rounds of 35-40 birds then it settled down. The clear, calm and cold weather (no self-respecting male monkey would have been out in it) made good safe catching conditions for a lot of hungry birds. We had our first decent Yellowhammer catch of the winter with 33 birds. On mornings like this you expect to ring more new birds and this was true for all species, and in particular for Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch & Yellowhammer. However, the ringed 'veterans' tend to turn up on cold days, and we had Blackbirds from 2012/13(2); Blue Tits from 2010/11 and 2012/13(2); Robins from 2010/11 and 2012/13(3); Yellowhammers from 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13. We also controlled a Tree Sparrow ringed as a pullus - not a common event!
Captures were (new/retraps) 114 (75/39): Blackbird 9/3, Blue Tit 6/6, Chaffinch 13/3, Dunnock 2/2, Fieldfare 2/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Great Tit 4/10, Redwing 2/0, Robin 4/5, Tree Sparrow 7/1, Yellowhammer 24/9.
Thanks to Lorna Griffiths for all the photos