Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Ticking over

It was a sub-zero start at Crawford this morning and the near calm conditions were ideal for mist-netting. The feeders have been emptying quite quickly and the loose feed has been going equally fast so a busy ringing session was anticipated. I erected a couple of nets by the feeders at first light and waited for the birds to arrive.

The first round of the nets was very disappointing with just 2 Chaffinches and a 6 Long-tailed Tits being caught and it didn't really get much better after that. The variety improved as the morning went on but it only ticked over in terms of numbers.

On the plus, if frustrating, side a flock of 31 Corn Buntings flew over uttering their liquid ticking calls and part of this flock landed in the hedge near one of the nets with the others landing in a tree nearby. I haven't seen any Corn Buntings down on the feed yet but perhaps it is only a matter of time. It is the prospect of catching some Corn Buntings that tempted me to start feeding this site in the first place and their appearance today will ensure the feeding continues.

The best bird caught was this Mistle Thrush. Although I see them in the vicinity of my ringing sites they rarely turn up in nets. It has been around 10 years since I last caught a full grown Mistle Thrush.

Ringing totals (retraps in brackets) were: Long-tailed Tit 7, Blue Tit 2 (3), Great Tit 2 (2), Dunnock (1), Robin 1 (1), Greenfinch 7 (1), Goldfinch 4 (1), Chaffinch 3, Tree Sparrow 1, House Sparrow 1, Yellowhammer 1, Blackbird 2 (1), Mistle Thrush 1. Total 32 new birds and 11 retraps.

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