Sunday, 29 April 2012

Miserable day

Rain for much of the day confined me to home so I decided to tidy my study. I say study, yes it does have books and a pc but it also acts as a store for my ringing gear, a larder for the family and store for all manner of odds and ends.

I have a bird table trap outside the window that is kept baited with cakes of finely chopped peanut and dripping. The escape door can be closed by simply pulling a string and most birds are usually caught this way rather than setting the trap and birds entering via the funnels. This also allows me to be selective.

Starlings and Blackbirds were in and out of the trap constantly and most were already ringed but six new Starlings and two new Blackbirds were caught and ringed during the course of the day. All this activity attracted a Magpie which entered the relatively small trap and became an addition to the species ringed in the garden and for the year.

Magpie (Pica pica) and me
Other species that entered the trap and appeared to be collecting food for their young were Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch and Robin. Great Tits were frequent visitor too but unlike the others they didn't carry off any food. The fat cakes appear to be a real life line for quite a few species in the current cold wet weather. At least tomorrow should see an improvement according to the forecast.

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