Ravensroost Meadows: Saturday, 30th July 2022

This was my first session out since my spinal operation on the 12th July. It was a bit of an experiment to see how I / my body would cope. The first few outings I have had have been more than a little sore. My post-op regime, proposed by the hospital’s physio department, has been regular 20 minutes sitting and then a brief period of exercise, and repeat. That pretty well sums up a bird ringing session: 20 minutes sitting and processing the birds before carrying out the next extraction round.

I had the estimable Rosie come along to help me set up, before disappearing to work, and David joined me for the whole session. Trevor, his dad, arrived in time to help us with the taking down. All in all, I coped pretty well, except for the last 10 minutes of taking down the nets, which meant I was on my feet for about 40 minutes, and I felt it. That rather draws the line under what I am currently capable of.

To the session itself. It was rather odd: where have all of the Whitethroat disappeared to? They were very obvious by their presence in my last session there in late May. Lots of evidence for breeding and, on this date two years ago, we caught ten of them: nine juveniles and one adult. In fact, the same can be said for Lesser Whitethroat, same number at the last session in May and none around today.

The list was actually dominated by juvenile Wrens, as follows: Blue Tit [2]; Wren [5]; Dunnock 2; Robin [2]; Blackcap 2[1]; Chiffchaff 1(1). Totals: 5 adults ringed from 3 species, 10 juveniles ringed from 4 species and 1 bird retrapped, making a total of 16 birds processed from 6 species. Not the biggest catch but, as David hasn’t been out for over a month and me for two weeks, it was enough.

We had a lure of for Swallow, and there were plenty skimming the fields, but they weren’t dropping in for a drink and they missed the causeway net. That net did provide a Chiffchaff, two Blue Tits and a Wren. It also provided a Chaffinch, with the worst case of Fringilla papillomavirus that I have seen for a very long time.

After David and Trevor had carried all of the kit back to the car for me, I had a sit to enjoy the peace and quiet (and recover a bit) watching the Swallows, when the tranquility was disturbed by the agitated calling of a Jay. For the few minutes I was treated to this Jay making life very uncomfortable for a female Sparrowhawk. A very fine finish to a quiet but enjoyable session.

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