April 2020 Results

As this was the first full month of lockdown, with everyone confined to ringing in their gardens and ringing in external sites banned, I was interested to see how we would get on.  The results were surprising: we actually ringed more birds this April than we did last, but recaptured fewer.  The big difference, unsurprisingly, was that we didn’t catch the number of migrant warblers we would normally do, being confined to our gardens. There were still some nice results though.  I haven’t done individual session statistics because, I don’t know how everybody else does it, but my back garden ringing is very ad hoc, and is rarely what I would call a formal session. For one thing, the nets tend not to be opened until after breakfast! Clearly a habit that will have to be broken post-lockdown.


It seems that Greenfinches are making something of a comeback in this area.  In my area it is pretty clear that they are very much attracted to gardens these days. However, in the Chippenham area they seem to be attracted out to the farmlands around the towns.

Actually. let me qualify that.  My garden birds: all 12 Greenfinches caught this month, were caught in my little back garden in Purton.  There are more, as I had 6 on the feeders this morning at least 3 of which were unringed. I suspect that, if I was able to get out into the surrounding farm and woodland, we would find that is where they are primarily nesting and foraging.

Goldfinch numbers were excellent (26 of the 29 in my garden – am I coming across as a bit too smug yet?) and I do know that there is a plentiful throughput of unringed birds.  I was pleased to catch my first Great Spotted Woodpecker ever in the garden this month.  They have been fairly regular visitors to the feeders but always managed to avoid the nets.  I have also managed to ring 4 Woodpigeons this month. All bar one was mist-netted in a 6m Merlin net. They aren’t the best build quality but they certainly hold larger birds well and both nets survived the encounters without damage: so pretty good for the price.  The other (finally) was caught in one of the 4 Potter traps that have been regularly ignored by them to date

Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds, Robins and House Sparrows were well represented, as one would expect in a garden-based scenario.

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