Thursday, 11 March 2010

.... as I was saying and Bruce Almighty

Today Chris and I decided to have half a day ringing at our Blackbrook site, where the Tree Sparrow colony is situated. The weather was cold with the sun breaking out later in the afternoon. Steve and Mandy had told us that Yellowhammers were coming into the Partridge feeders. and before long we had a couple in the nets.

Male Yellowhammer

Like the Chaffinches in the previous blog, Yellowhammers obtain the breeding plumage by the action of abrasion of the feathers. The brown tips gradually wear away to reveal the bright yellow of the feather.

Female Yellowhammer

Like a lot of birds the female of the species is duller, this helps camouflage them while breeding.

We also caught a first year (age code 5) male Great Spotted Woodpecker, which was unusually incredibly quiet, but with cracking markings.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

When Mandy returned from feeding the Pheasants, she let Bruce the Springer Spaniel (and father of two of my dogs) out of the farmhouse. He promptly decided to wee in Chris's ringing box, not a bit was spilt outside the box. We just have to teach him to put the lid down afterwards and he will be a real "Renaissance Man". Hence he's called "Bruce Almighty".

We ended up with a total of 45 new birds (no retraps):-

Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Yellowhammer 6
Tree Sparrow 6
Blue Tit 13
Great Tit 3
Dunnock 6
Robin 2
Blackbird 4
Chaffinch 3
Greenfinch 1

1 comment:

  1. Just to let you know my box is not smelly anymore, its had a good clean and no damage done to my books either.
    Just don't stir your tea with my pens!