CES 8: Lower Moor Farm; Wednesday, 13th July 2022

This is a truncated report, as I wasn’t there to join in. After several months of pain, I was in hospital yesterday having a wonderful procedure called a lumbar decompression of L4 and L5. They were going to carry out a discectomy, if it wasn’t too badly fused, as I also have a prolapsed spinal disc in that region. Unfortunately, it remains but the pain has gone. The story of how I got to the point of being operated on is the stuff of nightmares and not for a nice blog about bird ringing. All I will say is that the recent introduction of a clinical pathway for spinal pain seems designed to delay diagnosis, start treatment before they have diagnosed the problem, possibly making things worse, and making you suffer as long as possible before treatment.

Jonny Cooper very kindly has offered to carry out the next couple of CES session whilst I recover, as I am not allowed to drive for a couple of weeks and not allowed any heavy lifting for 6 to 8 weeks. With the weather looking too hot for the end of the week, he decided to carry out the session Wednesday. He was worked solo, and was active by 5:45, having driven over from Chippenham to get set up, and proceeded to catch a smallish haul for the day. The key difference between this session’s catch and the last catch was the complete absence of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits from this catch. However, it was a much better catch than the equivalent session last year, when only 21 birds were caught. The key is that there are more juvenile birds around this year.

The catch this session was: Treecreeper 1; Wren [7](1); Dunnock [1](1); Robin [6](2); Blackbird [1]; Cetti’s Warbler [2]; Reed Warbler 1; Blackcap 1[4](2); Garden Warbler [1]; Chiffchaff 2[1](1); Willow Warbler 1. Totals: 6 adults ringed from 5 species, 23 juveniles ringed from 8 species and 7 birds retrapped from 5 species. Of the retrapped birds, the Blackcap and the Robins were also juveniles.

Jonny brought the session at 11:45 because only mad dogs and Englishmen stay out in the midday sun. Hang on – he’s English, clearly not mad though. Thanks Jonny.

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