After trudging through the mud in late November, I moved the Ravensroost feeding station to a drier part of the wood, and cut a few short net rides to allow access to the station when we wanted to carry out a ringing session. To say it worked out well would be an understatement.
Jonny Cooper and I were the only team members out this morning, and we had a very busy session. We had hoped that the Hawfinch that was reported at our feeding station might put in an appearance but it seems to have moved on.
The session was very busy, with good numbers of birds extracted at every round. It was busy enough that we didn’t use any lures until 11:00 – when we put on Redwing, Marsh Tit and Hawfinch. The Redwing lure worked, the others didn’t. However, we had already caught three Marsh Tits (one ringed, two retrapped). This takes us to 27 ringed in the Braydon Forest this year (nine in Ravensroost, three in the Firs, five in Red Lodge, four in Somerford Common and six in Webb’s Wood): far and away the best return since I started ringing in the Forest.
We caught a Great Tit with an interesting leucistic crown:
We ringed another Great Spotted Woodpecker, adding to this year’s total, as well as retrapping another two. This takes us to 15 ringed in the Forest this year: again, an annual record for this species in the Braydon Forest.
The list for the day was: Great Spotted Woodpecker 1(2); Nuthatch (1); Blue Tit 23(25); Great Tit 7(6); Coal Tit 3(7); Marsh Tit 1(2); Robin 1(4); Redwing 1; Blackbird (1); Chaffinch 10(1); Goldfinch 2(1); Bullfinch 1(1). Totals: 50 birds ringed from 10 species; 51 birds retrapped from 11 species, making 101 birds processed from 12 species.
With the number of birds to manage, I had no time to spend on taking photographs. Fortunately on Friday, when topping up the feeders, I met someone who was on his first ever visit to Ravensroost, looking to photograph birds. I told him that if he wanted to get some close up photographs of birds in the hand he would be welcome to join us this morning. James Douglas arrived at 8:00 with his partner Rachel, and all photographs provided here are courtesy of, and copyright, James Douglas. They were excellent company, very interested in what we were doing, and knowledgeable: and are welcome to join us again whenever they wish.