Monday, 24 September 2012

New site and lots of birds.

This morning's ringing session with the Sorby Breck Ringing Group took place at a new site, a private garden in Wingerworth in Chesterfield. 3 nets were put up and in the vicinity of a very well stocked feeding station that is fed throughout the year. By the end of the morning we had ringed a total of 91 birds of 10 species, (Blackbird, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin, Great-spotted Woodpecker,  Blue, Great and Coal Tit). What an amazing start!

As there were so many birds today I was able to handle a good number of birds, retraps in brackets ( Nuthatch (1), Great Tit 10, Blue Tit 10, Goldfinch 2, Coal Tit 3, Dunnock 1, Chaffinch 2, and Blackbird 1). It also gave me a great opportunity to practise ageing and sexing techniques on the commoner species. The Great-spotted Woodpecker in particular was interesting, as it was only the third I've seen "in the hand". See here for my last encounter with this species. Here's a picture of one of the bird's feet, showing the two claws facing backwards and two facing forwards, so called zygodactyl feet! We also got a great chance to see the amazing tongue and the stiff tail feathers used when climbing trees. A super bird.

Great-spotted Woodpecker foot complete with shiny new ring

Other birds seen or heard this morning  were: Common Buzzard (3 overhead), Pink-footed Goose (c.100 overhead, my first of the winter), Jay, Woodpigeon, Tawny Owl, Sparrowhawk, one singing Chiffchaff and Willow Tit. Hopefully we'll be able to catch and ring these species next time.

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