With the forecast being pretty unsettled for this week, I decided to take advantage of the dry forecast for today and paid a visit to Lower Moor Farm. I was working solo – but I didn’t spend the morning on my own.
I was joined, all properly socially distanced, by some of the children from the Care Farm, with their carers for the day. One youngster was very keen on birds. He backed that up by identifying several of the species I was able to show him. He told me that it was his birthday in 5 days and that this was his early birthday present! Unfortunately, because of the precautions I couldn’t show him how to safely hold and release a bird.
His younger brother was also there, and his carer told me that he had never stayed that still for that long: which was evidenced by his sheer dynamism as they left. I know it is a cliché but children benefit so much from being out in nature.
I set up just 5 nets in 2 rides: it wasn’t going to be a big catch as I don’t set up feeding stations at Lower Moor, but it was a decent catch. The highlight had to be my first overwintering Chiffchaff of the year:
The obligatory Blue and Great Tits dominated the catch, but it was of reasonable variety. The Redwing were present, not in such good numbers as elsewhere, but there are probably better feeding areas for them on other parts of the site.
A female Bullfinch was another highlight. The biggest gripe of the photographers at Lower Moor is that they can never find a Bullfinch to photograph that doesn’t have a ring on it. This is one more they won’t want to photograph:
Today’s catch was: Blue Tit 3(3); Great Tit 4(4); Long-tailed Tit 2(1); Wren 1; Dunnock 1; Redwing 3; Blackbird 2; Chiffchaff 1; Goldcrest 3(3); Bullfinch 1. Totals: 21 birds ringed from 10 species and 11 birds recaptured from 4 species, making 32 birds processed from 10 species.
I started to pack away at 11:30. Quite astonishingly, whilst absolutely surrounded by clear blue sky, a small cloud decided to drop its bounty of rain exactly on my ringing station and I got wet putting it all away. Typical!