The last couple of weeks have been quite testing, with catches being very unpredictable. On 3rd April I opened the nets for a couple of hours and caught the rather woeful total of 3 birds: I ringed a House Sparrow and recaptured a Blackbird and a Dunnock.
My next session was on the 8th April and was a much more rewarding effort. The highlight of the session was my first Blackcap of the summer, but there was a reasonable amount of other activity, with 11 Goldfinch and 3 Greenfinch, a Starling and a Blackbird caught and ringed.
A brief session on the 14th April delivered 4 more Goldfinch, another Greenfinch and a Blue Tit ringed plus recaptures of a Blackbird and a Long-tailed Tit. Prior to opening my nets that morning, whilst stood looking out of the kitchen window drinking a cup of tea, I couldn’t help noticing that there was quite a lot of activity on the feeders which had dissipated by the time I opened my nets half-an-hour later, so I resolved to get up early and open the nets at daybreak on the Wednesday.
At 5:55 I opened the nets and watched and waited, and waited. At 6:40 a lone Starling ended up in the net. At 7:10 it was a new Blackbird and at 7:50 a retrapped Blackbird. The rest of the was similar, with the odd bird flying in and getting ringed. Between 8:00 and 14:30 I caught and ringed 3 Goldfinch and recaptured a Robin, and then, at 14:35 this turned up in one of my nets:
The irony of this is that I have set in my garden two walk in traps, baited with sunflower hearts and seeds, specifically for catching Woodpigeon. They have been opened every other day and have caught not a thing, despite the pigeons walking up to them and around them but never going in.
That was it until I went to shut the nets at 18:00. Picking up food from around the traps was this:
I have not caught many: this is only the third I have ringed and the first one I have caught since one almost exactly 4 years ago.