This February had a significantly better result than any previous, although we did manage 17 sessions this February, compared to 13 last year. Incidentally, 13 sessions per month is the average for February since 2013.
Jonny’s Blackcap, caught at his Melksham site, is only the fourth caught in February by the Group. He also caught three Linnet at his Hilmarton site: the only ones ever caught in February away from my Brown’s Farm site.
There were significant increases in the numbers of Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Goldcrest and Great Tit. The Chiffchaff catch was quite startling: with ten caught at Langford Lakes, eight ringed and two retraps, with one additionally caught at Sutton Benger. Prior to that we had caught just five ringed and one retrap in a February since 2013. One each in 2013, 2015 and 2022, two in 2021. We also ringed four Marsh Tit: three on Somerford Common and one at Red Lodge. Our best February catch for ringing the species.
Missing from the catch this month were Bullfinch, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Siskin, Snipe and Starling. Not for want of trying on the Snipe front: we were stymied by the weather on several occasions and illness on one.