Monday, 5 January 2015

The First Ringing Session of the New Year

It was very much a weekend of two halves last weekend, on Saturday the weather was wet and windy, whereas as Sunday was mainly overcast and dry without a breath of wind. I had anticipated that Sunday would be good and arranged to meet Rob and Chris at Manor Farm Country Park. The Little Owls were very vocal when we arrived, and continued to call up to mid morning. I estimated at least three were present based on the calls, one individual was roosting in a small copse near one of our nets, but unfortunately we did not catch it, but it gave great views.

It was a steady session with 38 birds of 14 species caught, although 12 of the birds were retraps. The most numerous species were House Sparrow and Blue Tit with eight birds of each species trapped. Of the House Sparrows six were retraps, one of which was approaching five years since its original capture date, the others were all from within the last year. 

Redwing - Manor Farm Country Park. This bird is actually from last year, when the light was better

As is usual this time of year I had expected to catch loads of Redwings, but there were very few around, we did however manage to catch one. A female Bullfinch was a nice surprise and a species that we have not caught at Manor Farm for a few months. The Bullfinch was a first year female that was aged due to the presence of two retained greater coverts. The other species caught included four Great Tits, five Blackbirds, three Wrens, and single Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Robin and Song Thrush. The Song Thrush was also a first year bird and had six retained juvenile greater coverts.

Song Thrush - Manor Farm Country Park
Song Thrush - Close up of greater coverts showing retained outer coverts
visible due to large thorns and chestnut colouration. The break between adult
feathers and retained juvenile feathers is indicated by red arrow

We did also continue my recent quest for crests, catching four Goldcrests, one of which was a retrap from a couple of months ago. Other bird species seen during the session included Fieldfare (5), Greenfinch (20+), Green Woodpecker (1), Linnet (5), Little Egret (1), Common Gull (7), Goldfinch (5) and Moorhen (3).

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