Saturday, 20 December 2014

A retrap Little Owl, Redwings and Firecrests at Manor Farm Country Park

After the success of last weekend, this morning Rob and I headed back to Manor Farm Country Park for some more ringing. Our plan was to try and catch more House Sparrows and Redwings, so it was a pre-dawn start to set the nets. As it turned out it was a bit breezy and so we were unable to set some of our usual nets, and instead had to settle for setting some in more sheltered locations. We had instant success on the first round, with two new Redwings and a Little Owl. The Little Owl was one of the birds that we had caught back in early November; it had put on some weight since when it was last caught, but the best thing was being able to get a good look at it in daylight.

Little Owl - Manor Farm Country Park
Little Owl - Manor Farm Country Park

The second net round produced another two Redwings and eleven Long-tailed Tits, but as the wind was really starting to pick up now we decided to call it a day at the farm and move into the woods.

Redwing - Manor Farm Country Park

Last winter I had regularly seen Firecrests in the woods at Manor Farm, particularly where evergreen shrubbery, such as Holly and Yew, was present, so we decided to go and see if any were there this winter. We only had about an hour so stopped off at a couple of likely places; the first location produced a male Firecrest, in the same bush as last year, although it was not the same bird as this one was a first year bird. 

Male Firecrest - Manor Farm Country Park

The second location also proved to have a Firecrest present, another male and also three Goldcrests. These are the fifth and sixth Firecrests I have caught since the beginning of November, and may not be the last of the year. I have now finished work until the new year and hope to get out and search for more.

Male Firecrest - Manor Farm Country Park
Female Goldcrest (left) and Male Firecrest (right) - Manor Farm Country Park

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