Thursday, 13 December 2012

A quickie before work

I am sure the title of this post is likely to attract some views and I am sure some of those viewers will be very disappointed and rightly so. With sunrise at around 08:20 there isn’t much time to fit in a ringing session before taking my son to college in time for a 09:15 start and getting to work. However, flat calm conditions and plenty of birds visiting the garden due to the cold conditions tempted me to put up an 18ft net for half an hour or so.
I put the net up in a different alignment to the usual setup as it was more likely to intercept the Blackcap that has been feeding in the garden as mentioned in my last post. The net hadn’t been up for more than a few minutes when a Blackcap type bird bounced but I didn’t get good enough views to be sure in the half light. First birds caught were a retrap Blue Tit and most surprising of all a Pied Wagtail, another bird that featured in my previous post.

male Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
The Blackcap wasn’t put off even if it had bounced and was soon back feeding on my mix of beef dripping and chopped peanuts along with the plums I had secured in the same shrubs in place of the usual half apples. I then saw it fly towards the net and u-turn at the last second, I say last second when last few millimetres would be far more precise. A Blackbird and a few retrap tits then blundered into the net. Having processed those birds it was time to take the net down when I found a male Chaffinch and a Blackcap had been caught. An excellent end to the quickie and sorry to those who were expecting something completely different but then you deserve it.

male Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Ringing totals, retraps in (brackets)
Pied Wagtail 1
Blackbird 1
Chaffinch 1
Blackcap 1
Coal Tit – (2)
Blue Tit – (1)
Great Tit – (1)
Total 4 + (4 retraps).

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