Red Lodge: Wednesday, 5th April 2023

This was my first ringing session since the 19th March as a combination of bad weather and a holiday to Scotland interfered / intervened. Unfortunately, this session was truncated by the weather. Again, at 10:00 last night the forecast was for it to be dry until at least midday, by 9:30 it was beginning to drizzle so we packed up and left site by 10:00. That is not to say that it wasn’t an interesting session, because it was.

Miranda and I met at 6:00 and had the nets open just before 7:00. Having packed away the feeding station before leaving for Scotland, we moved to the summer / autumn ringing area:

The following nets were set:

One Robin was so impatient to be caught that it flew into the net set along the main path before we had the nets open. Fortunately, it did not become entangled.

As usual at this time of year, between the departure of the winter visitors and the arrival of the summer visitors, it was a quiet morning. With the rain forcing an early termination of the session we ended up with just 12 birds: 8 ringed and 4 retraps.

First of the retraps was a female Chiffchaff, ringed as an adult in breeding condition in Red Lodge in June 2021, retrapped this time last year and now again this year. Our penultimate round produced a male Blackcap, ringed as an adult male in Red Lodge last April. Two nice examples of site fidelity in migrant warblers.

The list for the day was: Treecreeper 1; Blue Tit 2(1); Wren (1); Robin 2; Song Thrush 2; Blackcap (1); Chiffchaff 1(1). Totals: 8 birds ringed from 5 species and 4 birds retrapped from 4 species, making 12 birds processed from 7 species.

All birds processed, bar the retrapped Chiffchaff, were in breeding condition.

Footnote: yesterday I was contacted by Oak & Furrows RSPCA Rehabilitation Centre and asked to go and ring a Buzzard and a Barn Owl. The Barn Owl had been brought in underweight and unable to fly, the Buzzard had been brought in having been clipped by a car. Thanks to the great care and attention given to both birds, they are scheduled for release. Yesterday they were being moved out to the flight pens for a week, prior to their ultimate release.

The work they do is first rate. Since I started ringing their birds prior to release, they have successfully rehabilitated five Buzzards, three Barn Owls, one Tawny Owl and a Sparrowhawk.

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