After producing a report on the Natural History observations made whilst playing at Erlestoke Golf Course over the last three years, Paul Fox and myself were kindly granted permission to set up a feeding station in a secluded area of mixed woodland on the course.
The natural progression was to obtain ringing permission, which was kindly granted in October this year. Obviously, after only three visits, it is very early yet to produce any worthwhile analysis, so this is purely a record of numbers involved so far.
To date 110 birds of 8 species have been processed as follows: Blue Tit 64, Great Tit 26, Long-tailed Tit 7, Coal Tit 6, Robin 3, Goldcrest 2, Dunnock 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1.
Looking at the age ratio of the two common Tits, from a total of 64 Blue Tit captures, 47 have been birds of the year (code 3) as opposed to only 17 aged older (code 4). With Great Tits conversely only 9 birds of year and 17 aged older.
As an ‘old timer’ I was most interested to note the updated Greater Spotted information in the revised 2016 Non Passerines Guide stressing the unreliability of ageing on primary tip spots and unmoulted primary coverts which means some birds must be left unaged (code 2). A good lesson in keeping up with current information!
Finally we would both like to thank the owner and staff of the Course for their interest and assistance in allowing us to operate. We look forward hopefully to some Siskin and Redpoll in the coming months.
Rob Turner Paul Fox