Red Lodge: Monday, 22nd March 2021

I had planned to get out to Red Lodge on Friday, and have a quieter week this, after a fairly full on couple of weeks, with just Somerford Common this Wednesday, but it rained on Friday, so I postponed until this morning.

I was working solo, so set my usual 4 nets around the feeding station. However, as we are in the quiet time for bird ringing, I also set a couple more nets between the ringing station and the pond:

The first bird out of the nets this morning was a female Nuthatch:

Always good to have a lull before the pecking onslaught of Blue and Great Tits. It was a cold morning, despite a forecast saying it would be mild, and the bird movement was lower than I was expecting. I put on lures for Lesser Redpoll and Siskin, having had them in my garden in the last couple of days, especially a lovely pair of Siskin yesterday:

Not too bad for a shot taken through the kitchen window

Unfortunately, I drew a blank, despite luring for them for the early part of the morning. Once I decided that they would be a no show, I decided to change the lure to Chiffchaff, as there were several males calling close to the site. Needless to say, nothing, not a one for 2 hours, so I decided to switch the lures off. Immediately afterwards I caught a male Chiffchaff, my last bird of the morning!

For a small catch there was a reasonable variety: Nuthatch 1; Blue Tit 4(2); Great Tit (6); Coal Tit 1; Wren 1; Robin 1; Blackbird 1(1); Chiffchaff 1; Chaffinch 3(1); Goldfinch 1(1). Totals: 14 birds ringed from 9 species and 11 birds recaptured from 5 species, making 25 birds processed from 10 species.

Not having caught any Goldfinch in the wood since a solitary one in 2017, I was pleased to have caught another in the last session, and two more today makes me hopeful that they might become more regular. There were actually four in the vicinity: two on the feeder and two in the net. Possibly, if I hadn’t blundered in when I did, I might have caught them all. One of those caught was a bird that I ringed in my Purton garden in March of last year – then my first lockdown session. Hopefully they will become a regular feature of the catch.

Having got rather chilled, I packed up at 11:00 and headed for the warmth of home at 11:30: the benefit of only setting half-a-dozen nets is it takes very little time to take them down.

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