As today promised to be bright and sunny I decided to change from my scheduled venue of Red Lodge to the meadow pond area at Ravensroost. Jonny and I set up a few nets along the edge of the pond area, one across the causeway and one on the small spit. We did it for a couple of reasons: hoping we might catch a Swallow / House Martin or two (failed), or a Lesser Whitethroat (succeeded), as we haven’t caught any so far this year.
Whilst we were setting up we heard a male cuckoo calling. We got some fantastic views of the male, but didn’t manage to persuade him into the net.
We caught birds between 6:00 and 10:00 and then it died a death – but it was a reasonable size catch with good variety: Blue Tit 2(3); Wren 1; Dunnock 2(1); Robin 2; Blackbird 1; Blackcap 2; Garden Warbler 3; Whitethroat 5; Lesser Whitethroat 5; Willow Warbler 2(1); Goldfinch 1; House Sparrow 1; Reed Bunting 1. Totals: 28 birds ringed from 13 species; 5 birds recaptured from 3 species, making 33 birds processed from 13 species.
We caught one each of juvenile Robin and Dunnock. Encouragingly, two each of the Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat; one each of the Garden Warbler and the Willow Warbler, plus the Goldfinch and Reed Bunting were females with well-developed brood patches. These birds are definitely breeding in the area of the meadow pond.
Perhaps the oddest catch of the day was the House Sparrow. Presumably it has come down the road from the stables or the house at the crossroads, possibly from the barns in Avis Meadows – but I have never seen sign of them there. Anyway, it is a first for us in the Ravensroost complex.
We were packed up and away by 11:30. On Saturday we will be back at Ravensroost: in the woods this time. I am hoping that there will be some newly-fledged Marsh Tits around, as I have heard that the young have fledged from some monitored nests on the border of East Anglia.