Sunday 13 December 2015

Early December Ringing

This morning Steve, Thom and I met up with a group from Copeland Bird Observatory at a winter ringing site near Antrim.  The site has been used in previous winters for training sessions and this time around there were five trainers and four trainees.  It was a frosty morning with the mercury hitting -2 °C but there were plenty of birds about.  The site has a wealth of fruit trees and berry bushes, which attracts Thrushes in decent numbers with c50 Redwing, c40 Blackbird, c10 Song Thrush, c10 Fieldfare and a couple of Mistle Thrush around this morning.  The feeders brought in plenty of tits and finches but the a real draw was an area of winter cereal cover which held c35 Linnet, c30 Chaffinch, c25 House Sparrow, c15 Lesser Redpoll plus a few other bits and pieces - a proper net combination here should work well in the next sessions. 

                             Sparrowhawk                           SF

It was a productive morning with 84 birds processed of 16 different species.  One of the first birds to hit the nets was a nice male Sparrowhawk flying low around the feeding station.  A Grey Wagtail amongst the Apple trees was unexpected but gladly welcomed by one of the trainees.  All four trainees managed to get new species, including two who got multiple new birds.  We only managed to trap two species of Thrush but 11 new Blackbirds is very good, a few of which were certainly of a continental origin.  We wrapped up at 12.30 just before the rain started. 

Ringing Totals 13/12/2015                                     
                                        New       Retrap           
Blackbird                        11              2 
Blue Tit                            8               2
Chaffinch                        22              1         
Coal Tit                            2               3              
Dunnock                          2
Goldcrest                         1
Goldfinch                         1
Great Tit                           6               3
Grey Wagtail                   1
Lesser Redpoll                4
Linnet                               7
Long-tailed Tit                                 1
Redwing                           1                                                             
Robin                                2               2
Sparrowhawk                  1
Wren                                1
Total                                70              14  

On Tuesday morning Ken hosted Steve for a bit of training in his back garden and were joined by John later in the morning.  The morning was an ideal weather window with dry, calm conditions, plus it wasn't freezing for the ringers! 

They caught a large number of birds and had to close a couple of nets in order to cope - hence Johns arrival.  A total of 102 birds were processed, with perhaps 35% of these having been caught before.  There are a few nice birds in the garden at the moment including two Brambling and two wintering Blackcaps.  Unfortunately the former weren't caught but they might stick around with the c50 Chaffinch.  The Sparrowhawk ringed last time out has continued to visit daily and was retrapped. 

                                                               Sparrowhawk                                                           SF

Ringing Totals 08/12/2015                                     
Blackbird                        3
Blackcap                         2
Blue Tit                          11
Chaffinch                       32             
Coal Tit                           9                             
Dunnock                         1
Goldcrest                        1
Goldfinch                       24
Great Tit                         18                                                             
Sparrowhawk                  1
Total                               102     

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