West Wilts Ringing Group Results: March 2022

An interesting month.  The absolute highlight has to be the second ever Dipper on WWRG rings, caught and ringed by Jonny on the Bybrook:

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This is closely followed by the return from Cornwall of our leg-tagged Curlew,. which has been seen in the Cotswold Water Park and back at Blakehill Farm. I have put out a plea on Twitter for a photo: hopefully someone will be kind enough to send me one.  The results for this month were:


So, 90 birds fewer than last March but also 6 sessions fewer. That was primarily down to Jonny being unavailable for the last two weekends of the month, and me becoming a cripple for the last week-and-a-half and cancelling a couple of sessions.  Therefore, the averages are all higher. Coincidentally, we also ringed four more species.  Clearly the Dipper is the highlight but there were certainly other interesting numbers.  I finally managed to get to Brown’s Farm and, whilst we only caught a few birds, 13 of them were Yellowhammers.  14 of the 28 Yellowhammers came from Jonny’s site at East Tytherton, with the final one from one of his Sutton Benger sites..  Other species caught this year but not last were: 2 x Woodpigeon and a Collared Dove (all in Alice’s back garden); 2 Cetti’s Warbler at Langford Lakes; a Brambling at Biss Wood (since we had the first one turn up at Sutton Benger in January 2018, we seem to be getting the odd one turn up at each of our woods in turn, a couple in total each year); Grey Wagtail, caught in the same net as the Dipper on the Bybrook; Green Woodpecker at Alice’s Hogacre Eco Park site.  

Missing from last year were Bullfinch and Linnet.  On Linnets: as I was taking down the nets at Brown’s Farm, the farmer came down the track and put up a flock of about 30 Linnets from the hedgerow just a few metres away from where my nets ended!  One more net and who knows!  Also of note, the reduced number of Blackcaps.  However, of the 12 Blackcaps caught in March last year, they were all caught in the last 2 weeks of the month and, in fact, 2 were caught on the 29th March and 9 on the 31st March, so if Jonny and I had been active in the last two weeks of the month, who knows!

For those interested in the figures: this has been our best Q1 by a long way since the North Wilts group split away at the beginning of 2013: 


This was based on our astonishing January, and then both February and March being comparable with the previous year.

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