Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Day and Boxing Jay.

There have been a few bits and bobs over the last couple of days but Santa didn't deliver anything extra special on the birding front. One consequence of cooking a large turkey is that you have to get up early to allow for cooking and resting time. Having stuck a 6.5 kg turkey in the oven at 07:00 on Christmas Day I had a bit of time on my hands so I nipped to Crawford and put up one net for Redwings. The berries had been largely stripped from the hedges and despite the provision of a few apples a big catch wasn't expected and didn't happen. The net result (no pun intended) was 2 Redwings and a Woodpigeon. I don't catch many Woodpigeon so can't complain.

Yet another Redwing but I am not complaining. The last will be as good as the first.
On getting home and after basting the turkey I nipped to the park across the road to check out the Black-headed Gulls. I was working on the assumption there would be fewer offerings on Christmas Day, compared with the usual glut over the festive period, so I thought picking out ringed birds would be easier. There were about 90 Black-headed Gulls waiting for food including the regular German ringed bird but I didn't pick out any other ringed birds.

Black-headed Gull bread melee.

The regular German ringed bird was up at the front as usual.
Whilst seeing to the turkey and the usual accompaniments I was also keeping an eye on a bird table trap in the garden. This trap is manually controlled (old fashioned pull string like me) and is primarily designed for Starlings. I only added one Starling to my colour ringing scheme but I had caught 5 the previous day.

Starlings are not boring birds and have suffered dramatic declines (circa 80%) in recent years hence my RAS study.

Nearly forgot the turkey and sausages as you can tell. It was cooked breast side down most of the time so was still very moist despite its 'well done' appearance.
So we get to today, Boxing Day and I decided to double check the situation at Crawford, an easy option as it is only a few minutes away. I didn't get there too early but my supply of apples hadn't compensated for the depletion of berries in the area. Initially I only caught 1 Blackbird and 2 Redwings but I had put up an extra net by one of the feeders. This extra net produced a few tits and a Jay. There was a bit of an irruption of Jays in the autumn and there is no telling if this Jay is a local bird or part of that influx.

The ultimate Christmas nutcracker (apart from the real deal) and if you have held one of these birds you know what I mean.

No comments:

Post a Comment