I had to cancel this morning’s scheduled session at Red Lodge because the forecasts (all three that I use: Meteo, Met Office and xcweather) were for rain for the morning, until gone 9:00. I had David and Anna lined up to help this morning, but it wouldn’t be right to bring them over for just an hour or so ringing, which is what we would likely to have had after we had set the nets, so I cancelled.
Without an alarm set, I woke at 9:30. The rain had recently finished, there was a clear blue sky and it was virtually windless. Whilst preparing breakfast, and looking out of the kitchen window, I couldn’t help but notice that there were a goodly number of Goldfinch visiting the feeders so, over breakfast, I decided I would open the three nets I have furled in the garden. They were opened just after 11:00 and, naturally, all of the birds disappeared.
The first bird out of the net was an adult female Chaffinch at 11:30. As I had 3 hours of recorded football to watch, I decided to leave the nets open, checking them every 10 to 15 minutes and processing anything that came along. It was never hugely busy, but over the course of the next four hours I managed to get through all of the football and a further 24 birds.
Of the 25 Woodpigeon that I have ringed before today since I was able to work on my own recognisance, 19 have been in my garden. Today I caught and ringed the 20th:
The fact is that I never target them: they just occasionally blunder into my nets. They have incredibly strong flight muscles and holding them still to process them takes effort.
The list for the day was: Woodpigeon ; Blue Tit 1; Dunnock ; Chaffinch 1; Goldfinch (1). Totals: 2 adult birds ringed from 2 species, 22 juveniles ringed from 3 species and 1 retrapped bird, making 25 birds processed from 5 species.
To be honest, I would have continued for longer, but I committed the cardinal sin of bird ringing: I ran out of A-rings. These are the commonest used rings for every day ringing. I knew that I was running out, so I ordered another 500 last Thursday: hopefully they will arrive before the next scheduled session, next Thursday.