With the forecast being for a decent day I decided to set some nets in the garden. To save time in the morning, I set them up on Thursday night. As luck would have it, there was a frost overnight, and any time I might have saved was used up getting them to open.
The beauty of garden ringing is that you can watch from the warmth and comfort of your own home. Food and drink is on tap, and I could do some work in between net checks.
It was a really good session: a good number of birds from a decent variety of species. The list for the day was: Blue Tit 4; Great Tit (1); Coal Tit 1; Long-tailed Tit 1; Dunnock 1(1); Robin 1(1); Blackbird 3; House Sparrow 4; Starling 1; Chaffinch 1; Goldfinch 12(2); Greenfinch 4. Totals: 33 birds ringed from 11 species and 5 birds recaptured from 4 species, making 38 birds processed from 12 species.
Given that there is an excellent population of House Sparrow in Purton, a few pairs nest in the roof of my house, I rarely catch them in my nets, so to catch four was a definite highlight. Also, after the calamitous reduction in the population of Greenfinch, as a result of the Trichomonosis parasite. It has been a relief not to have seen any evidence of it in the birds frequenting my garden in the last three years. I regularly see half-a-dozen of them around my feeding station and to catch four today was very encouraging.
The birds from both these species have quite a bite on them and, as you can see from these photographs, have a bit of attitude about them: