Yesterday (07/11/09), a ringing visit to Priory Country Park brought a trickle of birds throughout the morning/early afternoon.
Early on, a Sparrowhawk was passing the feeding station in search of food (in this case Great or Blue Tits, not the nuts). It came away empty clawed! But Errol must have wished we had put a cork on this particular birds claws: he was telling me to keep my extremities away from the claws of this sharp toed hunter, but did not heed his own advice ... Ouch!
Above (thanks to Errol for this photo): A Sparrowhawk. This male was born this year (it had heart shaped markings on its front). This bird, already sporting a ring (thanks to Errol a few weeks back), did not add itself to my ringing list. The spectacle was enjoyed by regular birders at PCP Dave B, Dave K & John A.
For a list of other birds caught at Priory on 07/11/09, visit the IRG blog: www.ivelringinggroup.blogspot.com
Were I to keep a list of birds handled and/or processed but not ringed it would be short. I'd like to keep it this way! Others include:
Marsh Tit (processed but not ringed)
Mute Swan (recoveries of colour ring numbers from the field)
Eider Duck (handled only)
Curlew Sandpiper (handled only)
Turnstone (extracted from a mist net only)
This afternoon, at Cardington Tesco, I was approaching the car, only to look up at the sound of very agitated Long Tailed Tits. The reason for this was a Sparrowhawk passing over towards Longholme Way.
I am close to aquiring my 'C' license. I am organising and amassing equipment etc. in earnest!