Ravensroost Wood: Tuesday, 21st July 2020

This was my first visit back to Ravensroost Wood since March: which turned out to be my last visit before lockdown. We have been holding off ringing on the site as it has become very busy since the easing of lockdown. There has been a big increase in footfall and also, apparently, it has been turned into something of a mountain bike track. After discussion with the Trust I decided to run a test session. It won’t be repeated until team working is allowed again.

On the whole, it was a pleasant session with lots of public interaction. Unfortunately, it was spoiled when two women joggers decided to ignore my sign and proceeded to rip a bird out of the net, causing significant damage to the net and goodness knows what damage to the bird. As this is now the subject of a police investigation I shall say no more about it for now. Unfortunately, I have decided that in future I will not be able to ring in public areas whilst working solo.

It wasn’t the biggest catch ever, but it was perked up by the ringing of our tenth Braydon Forest Marsh Tit of the year. If you see a Marsh Tit with an orange ring over a white ring on its right leg, that is the bird. It is a juvenile. There were several others around, as they were calling throughout the morning, and one was calling as I was extracting the youngster that I ringed.

The catch for the day was: Treecreeper 1; Blue Tit 2; Great Tit 1; Marsh Tit 1; Wren 3; Robin 5(1); Song Thrush 1; Blackbird 1. Totals: 15 birds ringed from 8 species and one retrap. The retrapped Robin, the Great Tit, Song Thrush, Blackbird and one of the Blue Tits were adult birds, the remainder were juveniles from this year.

It is not often that I can post photos of Treecreepers: their long down-curved bill and hunched shoulders can make them look so miserable. Fortunately, I managed to take a half-decent shot of this bird:

They are one of my favourite birds. Ageing them is quite easy. If you look at the primary coverts you will see that they are tear-drop shaped. When they moult into adult plumage the tear-drops are replaced by either small dots or no dots at all. After 10:30 the nets went quiet, so I took down an 11:00 and went home.

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