Sunday, 28 February 2010

.........and then it rained !!!!

Another afternoon at the Lodge to ring around the feeders and finish off with the Chaffinch roost at dusk. The feeders brought in the usual tits, with a pair of Great Tits that were ringed as pulli from the same brood in 2009. So at least 2 of the brood of 8 chicks have survived the winter so far.

We also caught two new adult (6) Treecreepers, one of which is shown below. Ageing Treecreepers has always been tricky, when I started ringing in the '70s all treecreepers after they had undergone the moult were aged as 2 (fully grown, hatching year unknown). Not until relatively recently has it been discovered that the size of the spot at the end of the 3rd primary covert can indicate the age of the bird. A small spot, as in the photo, would be an adult. A larger tear drop shaped spot would indicate a first year bird (3 or 5).

Adult treecreeper showing small spot on 3rd pc.

The weather was showery most of the afternoon until dusk when the heavens opened. Luckily we had just finished getting the last birds from the roost and quickly furled the nets while we processed the remaining birds in the ringing lab. In the end we caught 48 birds of which 30 were new birds. The roost produced 16 new and 3 retrap chaffinches together with a song thrush and a couple of blackbirds. Four of the male chaffinches had long wings of 90mm and above. I have heard it said that birds with wings over 90mm can be assumed to be wintering birds from the continent, although I have not read any papers on this.

We finally went home wet and cold and Chris kindly offered to put the nets in her airing cupboard to dry out for next weeks excursion.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


We were able to get a session in Roost ringing yesterday afternoon, the first since 23rd Jan and was very successful with 58 birds caught. 30 new birds included 19 Chaffinch, a Nuthatch and a Goldcrest. The Chaffinch were carrying good amounts of fat and weighed between 19g and 24g.
Among the retraps we had 2 Coal Tit and a Great Tit that were all first ringed in 2004.