West Wilts Ringing Group: February 2022 Results

Despite the fortnight of storms, we managed to carry out just one full session less than in 2021.  Not that we did a lot in February 2021: just 14 sessions then and 13 sessions this year. Results were pretty similar:

Table 1: February 2022 Results

Our best February came in 2019, with 556 birds in 13 sessions. It does seem that 13 or 14 sessions is the norm for this month.

A few differences from last year: no Brambling this February, whereas David got to ring his first at Somerford last year.  We also managed a Snipe in February this year, Ellie’s first.  Another nail in the coffin of her claims to be a jinx on our catches together (although, to be fair, we did only catch two birds that morning – but we were only targeting Snipe).

Fig. 1: Ellie and her first Snipe

No Sparrowhawk or any Yellowhammer this year.  The Yellowhammer last year were at Jonny’s Sutton Benger site, but not this year.  He has a new, related, farmland site near Hilmarton and it was this that produced 38 of the Chaffinch ringed this month.  It looks like this could be a productive site, with 69 birds from 9 species in the first (only) session so far. 

Apart from the Snipe, my birding highlight was the first Siskin in Ravensroost Wood since February 2019.  

Fig. 2: Male Siskin @ Ravensroost Wood

What is significant about this year is that we have already processed more birds from more species than in any Q1 since the 2013 reconfiguration, except for the number processed in 2019, when another 87 birds will take us past that milestone – and we still have one month to go.  It just goes to show how active the group has become within our own boundaries.  This graphic rather illustrates the point:

Table 2: Q1 comparisons

The spike in activity in 2018 coincides with Andy Palmer and Jonny Cooper getting their C-permits and getting on with working their own sites.

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