Remember, remember... to have the first ringing session of the season at the Brackenhurst feeders today. We weren't really expecting fireworks, but first visits are always a little bit more exciting as you're not sure what’s about or how productive the birds have been over the summer.
Anyway, Mick, myself and, new to the group, Hanna Janiszewska, put up the usual nets at the feeders and Orwin's and over the morning we handled 57 birds of 11 species, which is pretty good for this time of year.
Surprisingly, Chaffinches accounted for 1 in 3 of the birds processed. One was a retrap from 2009, and ringed in the same month eight years ago! However, joy was mixed with sadness as the bird’s legs were badly diseased with a FPV-type infection.
All the tit retraps were adults (11) and all the new birds were juveniles (7), highlighting their site fidelity. The sound lure (til the battery died) brought in four Redwings to Orwin’s. They really like the Lithuanian song this side of Christmas.
Half the overall catch was in the first net round. All ‘n all a decent start to a winter's ringing at Brack.
Species totals were as follows: total captures: 57 (42 new/15 retrap); Dunnock 5/0, Robin 2/0, Blackbird 2/0, Redwing 4/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Blue Tit 4/4, Great Tit 3/7, Treecreeper 1/0, House Sparrow 4/0, Chaffinch 15/3.
The oldest retrap was the chaffinch mentioned above (and another from 2014), but there were also Great Tits from 2013 & 2014 and Long-tailed Tit ringed 2014.