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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Ringing at Castle Eaton 20th December 2014

Hi, ringing at farmland sites is one of the best things in Wiltshire, Winter is the prime time as well with birds flocking from all the local Hawthorn, Blackthorn and other shrubs to particular hot spots. Today was no exception with over 200 birds ringed with Matt's previous estimate being only 70! It was largely dominated by Yellowhammers, Chaffinches and surprisingly a record catch of Bullfinches.

Frost covered the ground which proved to be  disaster with my hands being absolutely frozen, this problem with my hands was first found out in September while ringing on the Salisbury Plain. My Mum gets effected by Reynolds syndrome, I never thought I had it until them when just a bit of cold caused my hands to freeze up a bit and made my little finger (when my fingers are straight) move away from my ring finger, how strange!

Anyway! Back to the birds, while setting up the nets we already heard some Tree Sparrows wriggling around in the shrubs. Our first catch included none of these rare little cousins of the House Sparrow as they're late starters, in other words lazy! However, Yellowhammers (which breed in some of the highest densities in the country round here) were in full force with a total of 55 by the end of the day which is a respectable catch until we visit Windmill Hill by the sounds of it.

I just about scraped through the first round without having to bale out through my hands! The next few round had a few more beautiful birds with a total of 16 rosy Bullfinches and 9 Tree Sparrows with the odd Reed Bunting, totaling 11 by the end if the long day. An unusual occurrence was 12 Robins inc. one re-trap which was 3 years old. The blue devils were around too, nibbling at my fingers as if they were a hard gobstopper!

So a grand day with me only having to watch one round while trying to warm my hands up. Here are the totals thanks to http://www.wiltshirebirds.co.uk/ringing/north-wilts-group.html
: Yellowhammer 55 (2), Tree Sparrow 8 (1), House Sparrow 4, Bullfinch 16, Chaffinch 34, Reed Bunting 11, Goldfinch 1, Greenfinch 4, Dunnock 12, Blackbird 7, Robin 12 (1), Redwing 2, Wren 2, Goldcrest 2, Blue Tit 23 (1), Great Tit 10

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post , cracking Yellowhammer photos

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