Last weekend I positioned the 30' net in front of and parallel to, a line of tall mature trees - conifers and a single beech - that serve as the southern boundary to the garden and within which the feeders hang. I had been hoping to catch House Sparrows approaching the feeders as they fly through the garden from the neighbouring guesthouse run by our landlord Geoff and his wife Liz.
This was met with a small success for the target species with seven trapped but not much else was caught as most birds approach the feeders through the trees thus requiring the net to be set perpendicularly to the tree line. So this weekend, after a quick chat to Geoff's son Ross a pair of loppers changed hands and light pruning commenced. A rudimentary ride was created allowing the 30' to be erected such that birds filtering through the trees would be intercepted.
With the new net placement the catch was almost double and several new species were caught including five Siskins, a species which is being seen in increasing numbers at the feeders. Several smart Greenfinches were also trapped on their way to the feeders.
Adult (6) male Greenfinch (left) and 2CY (5) male Siskin (right).
The ringing was split between the morning and evening so in the afternoon I took a trip down to Brora harbour to see what would be using the rocks at high tide and was pleased to find a small flock waders including 18 Purple Sandpipers, five of which were wearing coloured leg flags fitted as part of a study by members of the Highland Ringing Group who have gone on to fit a further sample of this species with light level geolocators. Two Turnstone and a couple of Knot were also present.
Roosting Turnstone, the bird on the right
is coming into breeding plumage
15 April Totals - 12 new
Coal Tit - 1
Blue Tit - 2
Great Tit - 1
House Sparrow - 7
Greenfinch - 1
22 April Totals - 20 new, (3) retraps
Dunnock - 2
Robin - 1
Coal Tit - 1, (1)
Blue Tit - (1)
Great Tit - 3
House Sparrow - 4
Chaffinch - 1
Greenfinch - 3
Siskin - 5, (1)