Somerford Common: New Year’s Day, 2021

With the forecast being for a bit of snow overnight but an icy start to the morning, I was hopeful that it might be possible for us to run a session at Somerford Common. In the event, the temperature was just on freezing but there was no wind, so no wind chill factor. I decided we could set the nets: just the 4 at the feeding station and the Redwing nets on the main path. The feeding station was topped up on Thursday, ready for today.

On my way to site, as I was approaching the entrance to the car park at Somerford Common on Stopper’s Hill, I saw my first bird of the new year: a Woodcock. That was a good start!.

I was joined by Lucy for the morning. The birds started arriving whilst we were still setting the nets, even though it was only just daylight. It was busy between 8:00 and 10:30 but died off quickly after that. There was a light snow shower between 8:30 and 9:30 but that just warmed the place up, and didn’t even settle on the nets.

Having missed out on Redwing at Ravensroost and Red Lodge, it was good to find that there are still some about. We caught eight and a couple of Blackbirds, in the appropriate net ride with a lure playing.

The list was: Nuthatch (1); Blue Tit 6(8); Great Tit (8); Coal Tit 2; Marsh Tit 1(4); Robin 1(3) Redwing 8; Blackbird 1(1); Chaffinch 2(1). Totals: 21 birds ringed from 7 species and 26 birds retrapped from 7 species, making 47 birds from 9 species.

It is always nice to start the year with a Marsh Tit or two, to start with five, including a new bird was a real bonus.

We cleared away at 11:30 and were off site by midday – the benefits of not setting up lots of nets.

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