It is not often I quote Björk, but it is entirely appropriate for our ringing activities at the moment. Hopefully, like the song, it will explode into action very soon.
On Saturday Jonny, Annie and I set up on the western side of Blakehill Farm. With Jonny and I having disturbed a number of Snipe at Lower Pavenhill on the previous Monday, we were hoping there might be a few still around at the ponds at Blakehill, so we got there early and set our wader nets. Unfortunately, our optimism was misplaced.
To be honest, the rest of the day wasn’t up to much either. The catch was Great Tit 1; Wren 1; Dunnock 1; Robin 1; Blackbird 1; Chiffchaff 3(1). Totals: 8 ringed from 6 species, 1 recapture, making 9 birds processed from 6 species.
Wednesday I was joined by Andrew Bray at Webb’s Wood. It was a somewhat bigger catch, but still not what we are used to at this time of year in these woods. We put on lures for Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, just on the off chance. There was no sign of Siskin but we were very pleased to catch a cracking male Lesser Redpoll.
Not only was he a super looking bird, he was already showing that he was in breeding condition. Recent records of Lesser Redpoll breeding in Wiltshire are very scarce, effectively non-existent in the last 20 years, until we recorded two newly-fledged juveniles at Ravensroost in early August 2016. Hopefully, this bird is planning to stay around, find a female and add to / create any locally breeding population.
The list for the session was: Treecreeper 1; Blue Tit 4(1); Great Tit 1; Coal Tit 1; Long-tailed Tit 1(1); Chiffchaff 6(1); Goldcrest 2(1); Lesser Redpoll 1. Totals: 17 birds ringed from 8 species; 4 birds recaptured from 4 species, making 21 birds processed from 8 species.