Thursday, 20 February 2014

Angry birds part 2

I went to my ringing site at Longshaw yesterday as the conditions were good for mist-netting. I only started to bait this site again recently because the winter has been so mild and there has been an abundance of natural food sources with last year being a mast year. There were fewer birds around than I had hoped but things could still pick up over the next few weeks as natural food sources get depleted.

The best bird of a meagre catch was a Jay but I think Nucklecracker would be a far better name for them as they have a fearsome bite. I usually manage to avoid being bitten but this one got me good and proper while I was taking out of the net. It also got called quite few other names until I managed to get it to let go. I was lucky to only catch one as a group of six had moved through the netting area. Catching six would have been nice but only if you have trainees with you.

I managed to get on the wrong side of this Jay and it certainly left its mark on me.
The garden feeders have started to attract a few Siskins in the past few days. This is a bit later than last year but only by a week or so. There were at least 8 today and hopefully numbers will increase to the same levels as last year when I had up to 30 or so visiting the feeders each day. They certainly didn't let the Goldfinches have all their own way and there were a few squabbles. However most of the interaction was between the Goldfinches themselves and there were frequent scraps even though there were unused ports on other feeders.

Goldfinches and Siskins were not the only birds in the mood for a fight today and I came across 2 Woodpigeons fighting in the street. It was a good job they were fighting at a junction otherwise they both could have been flattened. Lots of birds end up getting killed by cars in spring as roads often form the borders between garden territories.

These Woodpigeons had been trying to punch each other with their wings just before I grabbed this photo.  It was the noise from their wings that drew my attention to them.

The fight was broken by the arrival of a car. 

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