Saturday 3 May 2014

First ringing session of the year

We put our nets up at Druridge for our first ringing session of the year today. We didn't expect to catch much as it always takes a while to set things up on the first session, things grow, strings go missing (do wood mice eat through string and then drag it away to their nests?) and nets come out of bags differently to how they went in.

We caught 13 new birds, willow warblers outnumbered other species, the other warblers were whitethroat and sedge. We caught a willow warbler that we had ringed at Druridge as a recent fledgling last June, it's always nice to catch a returning migrant.

back from Africa, this chap was a bairn when we caught it last June
We also caught a long-tailed tit from last year. The other exciting bird was dunnock, not that exciting in itself, but this was a control (meaning it had been ringed by someone else), given that dunnocks don't often move far and most of our controls come from Hauxley or Chevington, there is a strong possibility that it's come from there.

Whilst we were ringing, we got news of a western bonneli's warbler at Newbiggin. I did the honorable thing and let Janet go to see it first, whilst I kept an eye on the nets. She saw it and came back, I went along to Newbiggin and didn't see it. Ho hum. A passing common crane was nice though.

The great white egret was on the Budge fields this morning, moving back to its other favoured spot on the big pool this afternoon.

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