Thursday 21 February 2019

Sibthorpe, Thursday 21 February

Jim and I spent a very enjoyable morning in the sunshine today with Skylarks singing overhead and the world feeling like it's ready to wake up again.

We put up four nets - two in Jim's garden and two in a neighbour's and caught 41 birds over the morning - which was more than we'd expected. The majority were House Sparrows and interestingly, the majority of those were retraps. I've always found that garden sparrows are quick to learn about nets and rarely get themselves caught again, but not today! Having several known-age birds allowed us to test some ageing criteria on the male birds (from Laurent Demongin's book). With a bit of practice, it seems as if at least some birds won't have to remain 2s or 4s now.

There were few finches around and Chaffinches in particular were notably absent - something that's been very obvious in the Vale of Belvoir lately as well. Is it the mild weather? Or are there far fewer around?

Of our 41 birds, 17 were new and 24 were retraps. This broke down as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock 1/1, House Sparrow 7/18, Robin 2/2, Great Tit 2/1, Blue Tit 1/1, Goldfinch 2/1, Wren 2/0.


 Goldfinch (Pete Leonard)