Sunday, 24 November 2013

Weekend Ringing

I managed to get out ringing twice this weekend with the guys from Sorby Breck; Saturday we were at Linacre and today we spent four hours at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Avenue Washlands reserve.

Saturday's session at Linacre started off very well with a flock of approximately 25 Crossbills flying around the site. Unfortunately, we couldn't entice any of them into the nets, but we did manage to catch an impressive 50 birds of 8 species, including 22 Great Tits and several Goldfinch. Here are a couple of pictures showing a male and a female Goldfinch.

Male bird with red extending behind the eye and black nasal hairs above the beak

Female bird with less extensive red and paler nasal hairs
Have a look at this link to see lots more Goldfinch photos from a ringer in the North West, who has ringed over 300 different birds in his garden this winter!!
Other birds seen during the session included 45 Pink-footed Geese flying over, a couple of Cormorants and a female Sparrowhawk that we disturbed from its breakfast.
1 less Woodpigeon at Linacre!
This morning's session at The Avenue was also pretty productive, with 47 birds ringed.  The Trust have created a "Living Bird Table" at the reserve by planting an area with crops such as Sunflowers and Kale. The plants are left to go to seed and the seed is then left for the birds to eat. We set up some nets an the edge of the field and managed to catch about a dozen Reed Buntings and Goldfinches. Linnets and Yellowhammers have also been feeding here, so hopefully we'll be able to catch these too during the winter. Other notable catches this morning were 2 Willow Tits and a retrap Great-spotted Woodpecker, along with the usual Robins, Dunnocks, Chaffinches, Blue and  Great Tits.

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