Yesterday on my way home I called at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss. As I drove down the track towards the farm buildings I flushed three Jays ahead of the car. Although you do get Jays on the moss, they aren't common unless it is one of those invasion years. As I watched them fly away from me on rounded wings with white rump glinting in the soft afternoon light I thought thank **** I'm not having to extract them from a mist net!
They have a little hook at the end of their upper mandible with which they are adept in using to inflict pain on the ringer!
There isn't a great deal of light left at the end of the day now around home time since the clocks went back, so at first I was surprised to sea a group of Chaffinch heading purposefully as if flying to a roost until I realised that dusk was just round the corner! That probably accounts for the fact that there was only 56 Tree Sparrows at the feeding station when there were 130 a couple of days ago. In fact the Tree Sparrows were making their way along the hedge away from the feeding station. I am not sure whether they roost in the hedge, but away from the feeding station, or whether they actually leave the site altogether to roost. I have witnessed behaviour to suggest both!
Looking back in one of my note books from 1985, Jay's were a feature of a morning ringing at Snettisham Common in west Norfolk on 26th October. I actually ringed three that morning, but have no recollection at all as to whether they inflicted any pain, but I am sure they did! In addition to the Jays I ringed 11 Bullfinch, 3 Coal Tits, 5 Goldcrests, 4 Long-tailed Tits and a Yellowhammer. I wonder if the site still exists? I'll have to have a look on Google earth.
Thursday 23rd February 2017 - The gale is picking up as the morning has gone on as Storm Doris begins to release her power. 10 Redwing on site plus the first new Blackbird of the spri...
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