The Braydon Bog: Saturday, 19th October 2019

The Firs Wiltshire Wildlife Trust reserve is locally known as the Braydon Bog.  It was so dry last year that even this area dried out but, with the regular downpours of the last month, it is growing back into its local reputation.  This has been made more noticeable because, since our last visit on the 11th September, the Trust have had a digger in to reestablish and extend the two ponds down the central glade.  Very happy about the work on the ponds – but it has left the area rather looking like the Somme in 1916.

The dampness means that it is the only part of the Braydon Forest that sustains a reasonable population of ferns.

I was joined for the session by Jonny Cooper.  We set a large mesh net with a lure for Redwing, as there are a few around now. Unfortunately, it didn’t attract any, but it did catch a Chaffinch and a Great Tit, which was not the intention.  It is not the right sort of net for them either: they can get very badly tangled, as the Chaffinch did. Fortunately, it was extracted without mishap, ringed and flew off strongly.

It was a typical Firs morning. There was not a lot of bird song, which did not bode well and we processed 12 birds in the first two hours. At our 9:45 round we extracted 40 birds: mainly Blue Tits but quite a few Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit and Great Tit.  In our 11:00 round we extracted 15 birds, and closed the nets as we emptied them, as there was some rugby that needed watching.

The list for the session was: Blue Tit [28](5); Great Tit [10](5); Coal Tit [1]; Marsh Tit (1); Long-tailed Tit {6}(1); Wren [2](2); Blackbird 1; Goldcrest [8](1); Chaffinch 1.  Totals: 6 birds ringed unaged from 1 species; 49 juveniles ringed from 5 species and 15 birds recaptured from 6 species, making 72 birds processed from 9 species.

The biggest surprise of the session was the lack of Robins in the catch.  They have been the most regular part of our woodland catches all year so to catch none this session was very unusual.

The highlight of the session was a recaptured Goldcrest which, although ringed in the UK, was not on one of our rings. It will be interesting to find out where it was ringed and I will update the blog when I get the feedback.

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