Ravensroost Meadows: Saturday, 16th September 2017

After our excellent session in the meadows two weeks ago, at Jonny’s suggestion we shelved the planned trip to one of the woodland sites and headed back to the pond.  The team was Jonny Cooper, David Williams, Neil Stockley, Steph Buggins and Lillie Woodley.  As we all (except David) had unavoidable engagements in the afternoon, the plan was to set fewer nets and pack up at 11:00.  As expected, we didn’t catch as many birds, but a major surprise was the complete lack of Swallows and House Martins in the catch.  There were plenty around, but they seemed to be approaching the ponds in a south / north direction rather than their usual east / west direction.  This rendered the causeway net virtually redundant.

It was still a good catch: Blue Tit 16(3); Great Tit 6(1); Marsh Tit 1; Wren 2(2); Dunnock 2; Robin 2(1); Blackbird 1; Blackcap 8; Whitethroat 1; Lesser Whitethroat 1; Chiffchaff 16(2); Goldcrest 1; Chaffinch 3; Goldfinch 4; Bullfinch 1.  Totals: 65 birds ringed from 15 species, 9 birds retrapped from five species, making 74 birds processed from 15 species.

The entire catch, apart from the Lesser Whitethroat and the two Wrens we ringed this session, were birds that fledged this summer.  For the second session running we caught a Marsh Tit at the site.  This, too, was a juvenile.  As the species is known to be highly sedentary, could this be an indication that all of the available territories in the nearby woodland are occupied and they are being forced out to find their own?

This will be David’s last session for a while, as he is off to start university in Aberystwyth next week.

Simon Tucker

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