Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bright and beautiful

I've been ringing in my garden again.

I caught my first Goldfinch, a young male

Goldfinch
Red which extends behind the eye shows it's a boy

Goldfinch tail
And with a narrow, worn tail like that, he has to be one of last year's young (see how much more quickly the white bits wear)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
I think we've met somewhere before...


It was the fourth time I'd caught this female Great Spotted Woodpecker (can't tell how old she is though). I've ringed four woodpeckers in the garden but this is the only one I've re-caught. 

As a repeat offender (or maybe frequent flyer) I think she needs a name... Since my neighbour Laura put the ring on, and Laura's from Finland, I've decided on K├Ąpytikka, the Finnish name for Dendrocopos major. See you again soon!

Monday, January 02, 2012

At the bottom of the garden...

Hurray! I've finally got my first set of rings. My joy was tempered slightly by the cost, but poverty is all part of being a ringer. So I've wasted no time in trying to catch birds...

These ones are in my new garden. I have mostly been catching Blue and Great Tits, but there have been a few other bits and pieces, too.

Birds waiting to be extracted
Birds about to be extracted from the net
Treecreeper
Treecreeper (check out the talons). They always look grumpy
Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit
I caught three Great Spotted Woodpeckers in one afternoon. Damage to my eardrums and hands was not inconsiderable, but I've recovered. Ear defenders would be handy, though.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker (female)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker (male)
Blue Tit with deformed bill
Blue Tit with wonky bill, but it was in good shape so still feeding OK
While at my parents' over Christmas, I couldn't resist trying to catch some of their garden birds. It was mostly a fruitless exercise (someone down the road is clearly sucking in birds from miles around) but I caught a few (no, really, a few. Three Dunnocks and a Robin. Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Goldfinch all wriggled out before I could extract them!).

Dunnock
The first bird to get one of my rings - a Dunnock. Dull brown eye says it's a young bird
Dunnock
Another Dunnock - bright reddish-brown eye says it's an older bird
My first rings!
My first rings