Saturday, 5 January 2013

First Ringing Session Of The Year

This morning I met Craig and Heather at the feeding the station for our first ringing session of the year. We were blessed with the weather as it was flat calm and the sun even made an appearance!

The first bird we had was a stonking Barn Owl that floated across the field next to the ringing station and up and over the adjacent hedge. Nice! The only other raptor we had were two calling Buzzards.

Birds were certainly moving around this morning and moving birds included ten Whooper Swans, 760 Pink-footed Geese, four Corn Buntings, Brambling and three Siskins. As always it is difficult to tell just how many birds are using the feeding station when you are ringing  but there was probably over a hundred Tree Sparrows, 20-30 Chaffinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

 Tree Sparrow

We ringed 23 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):

Chaffinch - 11 (1)
Tree Sparrow - 6
Great Tit - 2 (2)
Blue Tit - 3 (8)
Robin - 1 (1)


The 'eagle-eyed' amongst you will have noticed that over to the right I have posted the final totals for our (Fylde) ringing group. By the end of 2012 we had ringed 3,723 birds of 66 species which is 747 down on 2011's totals. Considering the wet year it was I think we did quite well, so let's hope for some better weather this year!

As usual I have detailed the top ten 'movers and shakers' below.

1. Chaffinch - 370 (up from 2nd)
2. Greenfinch - 367 (down from 1st)
3. Swallow - 317 (same position)
4. Goldfinch - 289 (up from 6th)
5. Tree Sparrow - 271 (down from 4th)
6. Blue Tit - 267 (down from 5th)
7. Blackbird - 147 (up from 9th)
8. Great Tit - 146 (same position)
9. Lesser Redpoll - 144 (down from 7th)
10. Meadow Pipit - 112 (same position)

During December we ringed 171 birds and the majority of these were in the first part of the month when there were a few days conducive to operating mist nets. The top five ringed in December were as follows:

1. Goldfinch - 36
2. Turnstone - 30
3. Chaffinch - 27
4. Blackbird - 17
5. Brambling - 12

No ringing for me tomorrow, just some birding around the 'obs'. It might be a bit foggy at first light, but hopefully it will clear fairly quickly. I'll let you know if it does.

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