Having postponed Wednesday’s session, due to a bad (and erroneous) weather forecast, and having missed last week, due to work in Geneva (it’s a hard life, but rewarding – helps pay for my ringing activities, and the sight of over 20 Goosander on the river Arve is something that I will remember for a very long time), and suffering from withdrawal symptoms, I decided to have a short ringing session at Somerford Common on Friday. Andrew Bray joined me for the morning. We only set a few nets either side of the feeding station but had a very busy time of it.
As expected, our catch was almost entirely titmice. Unexpectedly, the majority of the catch was Coal Tit. With nine ringed and seventeen retrapped, they made up 40% of the catch. The oldest, D664806, was ringed in October 2013 and has been recaught on three separate occasions: previously in February 2017, all at Somerford Common.
We retrapped another three Marsh Tits, making this an excellent start to the year for our key Braydon Forest study species. At Ravensroost on 6th January we retrapped 5. On Wednesday, 17th Robin Griffiths identified a colour-ringed bird, which was almost certainly Z197241, bringing our January total to nine individual birds identified at just two sites.
The catch for the day was: Nuthatch 1(1); Blue Tit 8(6); Great Tit 6(5); Coal Tit 9(17); Marsh Tit (3); Long-tailed Tit (1); Dunnock (1); Robin (1); Goldcrest 2; Chaffinch 3. Totals: 29 birds ringed from six species; 35 birds retrapped from eight species, making 64 birds processed from 10 species.
Given how the weather forecast changed from Friday morning to Friday afternoon (from dry and sunny to wet and cold), and the wet weather that did set in for Saturday, preventing our getting out today, and expected to last throughout Sunday, getting out Friday was a good move.