Astonishingly, this was my first session in Ravensroost Wood since the 3rd August. That the last session only delivered three birds in no way explains my absence from the wood. Having looked at the weather for this week, today looked like the only one that could support a ringing session, with the Ravensroost volunteers being on site tomorrow putting that out of contention (it’s going to rain anyway).
The weather was, as forecast, calm and misty, getting foggier mid-morning, with the sun breaking through by midday – just as we were packing away. It was cold in the mist, and the movement of birds around the site was limited, which reduced the size of the catch. I was joined by Rosie, helping to set up before going off to work at 8:30, and Miranda for the morning. We set the nets along rides R28 and R38:
Immediately the nets were opened the two 18m net set to the right of the path caught two Goldcrests. The first full round delivered seven birds: five of which were in the net sets to the right of the path – but that was all we caught in those nets until the last round at 11:40 when we caught a Blue Tit.
We were joined by Zara and her parents at just after 8:00. She got to handle and release a good number of birds but didn’t ring any today. Although it wasn’t too cold for ringing, and none of the birds showed any sign of stress from the cold, I felt it best to ensure that we stuck with experience this morning.
The first two rounds were somewhat encouraging, with nine birds in each round, but at 9:00 the temperature dropped significantly, and so did the catch. Miranda and I continued for another two hours but, with only another seven birds caught in those two hours, I decided to close the nets and take down at 11:00 (by which time Zara and Co had gone home to warm up). Despite the use of lures, we didn’t catch any Redwing or Lesser Redpoll, which was disappointing.
The list for the day was: Treecreeper 1; Blue Tit 5(2); Great Tit 3(2); Coal Tit 2; Long-tailed Tit 2; Wren 2; Robin 1(1); Goldcrest 6. Totals: 22 birds ringed from 8 species and 5 birds retrapped from 3 species, making 27 birds processed from 8 species.
Not the greatest session but so much better than last time.