Sunday, 10 March 2013

Last few garden sessions and new job

Having received the good news that the BTO have offered me the the position of Oracle database developer I spent the last fortnight in Lound sorting and preparing to move as well as attempting to catch at least one of the Siskins visiting the nyger. 

Over a few mist-netting sessions a number of interesting birds were caught including the first Goldfinch seen in the garden for a while, another Lesser Redpoll bringing the total caught to 7 and a stunning male Siskin. On the same Saturday afternoon that the Siskin was caught I received a call from my ringing trainer Paul to ask if I'd like to come over and help ringing a Siskin flock that was taking advantage of his feeders with 39 being ringed in total.

Adult (6) male Siskin (left)  and male Goldfinch (right)

It was interesting to catch a Wren that had been ringed as a first year bird (3), in October 2011. This individual now an adult (6), clearly showed the staggering in the wing bars as discussed in the recent article by Rachel C. Taylor recently published in Ringing and Migration. A large tick was firmly attached just below the eye of this Wren yet when re-trapped again a few days later the tick was gone and the bird seemed none the worse for wear, weighing more than when it was caught carrying it's burden. Another interesting retrap was an adult Blue Tit that was re-captured on the same date and within ten minutes of first capture last year.

Adult (6) Wren showing staggering in the wing bars

Unfortunately in the week before I started in my new role the weather was less favourable so I decided to build and deploy a small ground trap with a view to catching some of the Blackbirds that are so adept at avoiding my mist net. After a bit of tweaking and an escaped Blackbird, a slow but steady stream of birds were caught with species trapped and ringed including Blackbird, Song Thrush, Starling and Robin. A valuable tool when the weather is unsuitable for mist-netting.

After a reasonable start to the year in Lound hopefully there will be plenty of ringing opportunities as I settle into my new role and home in Thetford.

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