Lower Moor Farm: Saturday, 21st and Monday, 23rd November 2020

On Saturday Ellie spent a couple of hours trying out her new MP3 player with the “Latvian Love Song” lure for Redwing. This is her brief report:

“I’ve been consistently getting 10-15 birds in my two 18m nets, which pro rata doesn’t work out too badly, but on Saturday, given the very calm forecast, I decided to site them along a shrubby field margin.  I’d previously seen a lot of ‘action’ in those bushes, but the heavy mist, which persisted until mid-morning, meant that it was a very quiet start.  It was a rather sparse session, with a total of only 7 birds – 4 redwing and 1 each of Blackbird, Robin and Great Tit; however, it was great to see the lure working on its first outing.”  

Come Monday and Andrew Bray and I had a scheduled session in the wildlife refuge area on the edge of Mallard Lake.

The weather was cold and misty at the outset and, to be honest, it didn’t properly warm up until we started taking down at 11:45am.   We set the usual nets in the refuge, plus an extra 9m just inside the gate (the estates team have kindly expanded that ride into something more usable than I had done myself and also refreshed the other rides) and an extra 18m over at the back, along the streamside bushes.  That last I often set up, even though it rarely produces much of a catch.  We did get four birds out of it today: a Robin, two Wrens and a lovely male Bullfinch:


We did actually catch a second Bullfinch: a female, but she had advanced Fringilla Papillomavirus, nasty encrusted warts in the legs and feet, so I just extracted and released her and disinfected my hands.

For me the highlight of the catch was an overwintering Chiffchaff:


The catch was Blue Tit heavy, as one would expect at this time of year, but there was enough variety to be enjoyable. 

In total we caught exactly 40 birds, made up as follows: Blue Tit 10(5); Great Tit 1(1); Long-tailed Tit 1(2); Wren 2(1); Dunnock (1); Robin 3(1); Redwing 5; Blackbird 2; Chiffchaff 1; Goldcrest 3; Bullfinch 1. Totals: 29 birds ringed from 10 species and 11 birds retrapped from 5 species, making 40 birds processed from 11 species.

We spent the morning being regaled by Cetti’s Warblers. There had to be at least 5 territories in the area in which we were set up. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to catch any of them.

One other interesting catch was a five-and-a-half year old Blue Tit, ringed as a juvenile in June 2015.

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