Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 8 November

Last winter we tried a new winter feeding site on Nottingham University land at Kingston on Soar, which started well but faded quickly and produced little in the way of farmland birds. Having discussed the failure with Mike Davies, the Universities farm manager, he suggested another site at Sutton Bonington which I had a look at with him in August and decided it was worth a try.

Two weeks ago Gary, Duncan and I set up the feeders and today we set nets for the first time. The morning started very calm after yesterday's strong winds but the forecast was for some rain and increasing wind. We tried a Redwing tape first thing and went fingers crossed for the first net round. The catch was ok and included a Redwing but otherwise mostly tits and no farmland birds!

The morning progressed and things got better until the rain started just after 9am which made us rush to the cars to hang the birds in to keep them dry and then close the nets, as the rain was heavy. We waited in the cars and when the rain stopped we opened the nets again, they had been closed for about an hour.

We took the nets down just after 11am as the wind increased and ended with a catch of 38. This included a single retrap, a Long-tailed Tit from Kingston last winter, a movement of under 2km.

The species totals were Long-tailed Tit 10, Wren 2, Great Tit 4, Blue Tit 7, Robin 2, Lesser Redpoll 6, Reed Bunting 3, Yellowhammer 1, Song thrush 1, Redwing 1, Grey Wagtail 1.

It was good to catch both Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting on this first visit and the Lesser Redpolls and Grey Wagtail added nice variety, the later in particular bringing a smile to Duncan’s face.


 Grey Wagtail (Gary Goddard)

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