Somerford Common: Saturday, 19th September 2020

The forecast was for it to be breezy, ruling out any of the more exposed, migrant friendly sites, so we headed for Somerford Common. I managed to select enough sheltered net positions to get 10 nets up. It wasn’t the busiest session that we have had recently but any woodland session where Goldcrests equal the combined numbers of Blue and Great Tits is okay by me.

For a whole bunch of reasons (focusing on getting his first class honours degree and then the whole Covid-19 situation) it has been 9 months since David has managed to get out to a ringing session. Astonishingly, he picked up straight from where he left off. That is not easy for a trainee when the skills are still very much in the cerebrum and not the cerebellum.

The list for the morning was: Treecreeper 2; Blue Tit 1(3); Great Tit 3(1); Marsh Tit 1(1); Wren 1; Robin (3); Blackcap 3; Goldcrest 8; Bullfinch 3. Totals: 22 birds ringed from 8 species, 8 birds retrapped from 4 species, making 30 birds processed from 9 species.

There were highlights, alongside the Goldcrests, we caught and colour-ringed our 15th Marsh Tit of the year. Despite not yet being able to get back into Ravensroost Wood, usually the species stronghold in the Braydon Forest (back there soon – working on it with the Wildlife Trust), this is looking at being another very encouraging year for this red-listed species.

The three Bullfinch were all juveniles: a male, a female and one that had not progressed far enough in its moult to establish sex. This last one, unfortunately, was the first time I had seen avian pox in Bullfinch. It should recover: I have ringed Great Tits that have subsequently been caught with the disease and later still been caught again, having recovered, with some residual scarring.

%d bloggers like this: