I haven’t done a garden session for nearly a year but sitting in on Steph’s first session prompted me to set up the nets and have a go. I had my moth trap out in the garden last night, and thought it would be good to do a bit of ringing whilst checking what I had managed to attract to the light. What I didn’t expect was that in a three-hour stint with 4 short nets set up I would trap more birds from more species than I did in Red Lodge on Saturday, from 4 times as much net and over a period of 6 hours.
Red Lodge is usually a very reliable site but, for whatever reason, Saturday was a very disappointing session. There were lots of birds around but, unfortunately, they were around the tree-tops. I heard plenty of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and Long-tailed Tit, but caught none of them. The list for the session was: Blue Tit 1; Great Tit ; Coal Tit ; Wren ; Robin ; Song Thrush 1; Blackbird 2; Blackcap ; Chiffchaff 1. Totals: 5 adults ringed from 4 species and 20 juveniles ringed from 8 species, making 25 birds processed from 9 species.
The only species that the garden catch had in common with Red Lodge were Blue Tit, Coal Tit and Blackbird. Of course, catching a Coal Tit in my garden is rather more unusual than it is catching them in Red Lodge. However, the absolute highlight of my catch was a true first for my garden: a Whitethroat. I have been studying the birds that come into my garden for nearly 11 years now and I have never seen a Whitethroat in the garden, let alone catch and ring one:
In addition, a newly fledged Goldcrest was good catch. I have seen and caught Goldcrest in the garden before, but this was the first juvenile. The list for the session was: Blue Tit 2; Coal Tit 1; Long-tailed Tit ; Dunnock 1; Robin 1; Blackbird ; Whitethroat ; Goldcrest ; Goldfinch 1; Greenfinch 1. Totals: 7 adults ringed from 6 species and 25 juveniles from 9 species, making 32 birds processed from 10 species. It would have been 11 species but a Woodpigeon managed to extricate itself just before I got to it.
Anyway, as a different footnote, here are a few of the moths I caught last night:
Poplar Hawk Moth
Privet Hawk Moth:
Yes – it is that big. Finally: a Sharp-angled Peacock: