Thursday, 22 March 2018

Brackenhurst student demonstrations . . .

. . . no, not over lecturers’ pension rights, but bird ringing demonstrations for the students at NTU, Brackenhurst. Many of them use the Yellowhammer data we collect in their statistics lessons, and the demos allow students to see them in the hand as well as learning about the aims of the Ringing Scheme.

Wednesday 14 March
Despite the blowy south-easterlies, Kev, Louise and myself netted 61 birds. Conveniently, they came in a steady flow through the morning, and our three groups all got to see birds in the hand and release birds. Thirty-eight of our total were our target species, Yellowhammer. The eldest ringed bird was 4 years old. We also ringed nine Reed Buntings.

Species totals: 59 birds (45 new/14 retrap): Robin 1/0, Blackbird 1/1, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 2/1, Goldfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 2/1, Yellowhammer 28/10, Reed Bunting 9/0.

Wednesday 21 March 
Colder and calmer initially, then breezy from the west. I thought we would catch more birds than last week, but Gary, Kev, Kirsten, Max Collins and I only managed 36 birds. However, there were fewer students this time and it was enough for them. Yellowhammer (20) and Reed Bunting (6) again dominated the catch. It's been our best winter for ringing Reed Buntings. Not sure why, but perhaps the colder winter and seed mix have both played a part. A nice surprise was to ring a Brambling; only our fourth at the site. The oldest birds were a Robin and a Yellowhammer, both from 2014.

Species totals: 36 birds (18 new/16 retrap): Robin 0/1, Dunnock 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Great Tit 1/1, Goldfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 1/1, Brambling 1/0, Yellowhammer 8/12, Reed Bunting 3/3.

Jim Lennon

 Brambling and student group at ringing station

1 comment:

  1. I saw that picture on twitter ,what a great bird that brambling is