Sunday, January 03, 2010

The pain, the pain...

Greenfinch

The first ringing session of 2010 in our garden yielded lots of interesting things, but the pain was all mine.

We caught a whopping 39 Blue Tits, and my fingers still sting from their frenzied pecking... 14 of those were birds we'd caught before (known as 'retraps').

The three Robins have appeared from somewhere - we hadn't caught one since March. I've seen four at once in the garden in the past week, alternating between an uneasy truce and all-out war.

We trapped another three juvenile Marsh Tits - they just keep coming!

Starling (adult female) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (adult male) have been infrequent visitors lately, so it was lucky to catch them. I received a good pecking from them both, with the woodpecker drawing blood and leaving my fingers covered in pock-marks.

One of the Greenfinches (pictured) was already ringed, but not here! Del had caught it in his garden, 6 km away. That means it's a 'control', the first for the garden!

We missed a female Reed Bunting, which dodged the net, and a Sparrowhawk that's been hanging around for the past few days. Just seen it this afternoon, though - you can't catch 'em all.

The totals:
  • Blue Tit, 25 new ones and 14 we'd caught before
  • Great Tit, 12 new and 8 retraps
  • Robin, 3 new
  • Marsh Tit, 3 new
  • Dunnock, 3 new, 1 retrap
  • Coal Tit, 1 new, 2 retraps
  • Starling, 1
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1
  • House Sparrow, 1
  • Greenfinch, 2 new, 1 control
  • Blackbird, 1 retrap
- a total of 79 birds caught in 50 feet of net - our biggest-ever catch.

photo taken with Canon EOS 30D