Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bird ringing, Savernake, Sunday 10th January 2016

Sunday was one of those fantastic days you don't want to end. The team consisted of Matt (of course), Anna, Paul, Noah, his Dad, Tim and Graham.

Setting up took no time, efficiently putting up nets down the net rides that were cleared by Matt and I in preparation for today. Half an hour later then euphoria happened, Woodcock! This is a dream bird, so to ring and hold it would be absurd and absurd it was...

 We aged this bird as a 5 (born last year) and assume that it has come from the continent, most likely Scandinavia/Russia believe it or not.  This is because satellite tagging by the Woodcock project proves many are continental migrants. It weighed just over 300 grams but most incredibly I got the wing measurement spot on!
Yep I'm a skinny whippersnapper, trust me those Wellies do fit! 
Every time it wing stretched I couldn't keep its wings in position; Woodcock's are very powerful hence where they travel from and what traits they need. Nevertheless its cryptic camouflage stole the show again, simply stunning.

Our next showstopper(s) were the Redpolls, 14 of them attracted to the tape. A large proportion were adults (sixes) which could lead some to believe they had a poor breeding season. However, Matt and Graham said sometimes birds travel in flocks depending on age, I hope this is the case, further catches will prove/disprove this hypothesis. 

On any other day these birds would have been highlight by a mile but the Woodcock was sublime. Nonetheless Bramblings mesmerize me, particularly the males therefore catching 11 birds was brilliant. Matt has had a control (recapture of a bird not from this group that has a ring) from Norway! Data like this is brilliant so I'd be overjoyed to see one of these find their way over the North Sea into a Norwegian net; its contribution to science would be invaluable!

Pictured above is a dazzling male, showing off its orange ambience. Matt predicts this flock will grow till a peak around February/March of possibly up to a 100. Now wouldn't that be something?

 The female attempted to resemble the male but its flashes just aren't bright enough, aren't we men flamboyant, albeit clumsy (that applying to me) and less organised! I still believe the female presents a unique charm and possesses beautiful lemon armpits as does the male.
 The paparazzi were hot in this lad's tail but he seemed content perching on Matt's hand.

Another noticeable feature of Sunday's theme were the hats:

We all had are wooly hats undergoing extreme cool temperatures (5C)! Hopefully the next few weeks will provide us with out much needed winter weather...


  1. Fascinating, Alex, and great photos!

  2. Very entertaining, educational and lovely bird photos. Couldn't ask for more in a blog!

  3. Very entertaining, educational and lovely bird photos. Couldn't ask for more in a blog!