Sunday, 31 January 2010

Call me quackers ..

I got an invite to go ringing at 10am today. Where? I didn't know but I suspected it had something to do with ducks. So I waddled off to meet Errol who kindly took me to Blunham where ducks were in fact waiting, ready to be ringed.

It will be a rare day for me now to get 6 ringing ticks in one day, but that is what happened today. Tufted duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Wigeon and Teal.

Above: A male Tufted Duck.

Above: A male Gadwall.

Above: A wigeon

Above: A male pochard

Above & Below: My favourite of the 6 - Teal. It was much smaller than all the other ducks we handled today and there was only the one.

Below: Not a flattering angle of me, but just to prove I ringed a Teal!

Got home & had to wash all my clothes (they smelt of duck muck!).

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Blue Tit alley

You think to yourself as you watch those birds come to your feeders, well there's at least 6 blue tits (as that's how many you've seen at the same time), but probably not many more.

At least that's what my dad used to believe! I've now shown him that there are at least 61 blue tits visiting the feeders in his garden! My cold fingers took a right hammering. Especially today as 27 of 36 birds caught and ringed (including 2 retraps) were blue tits!

Totals were as follows (from 24/12/09 to 03/1/10): new (retraps)

Blue Tit 61 (2)
Dunnock 5 (1)
Robin 3
Goldfinch 7
Starling 1
Coal Tit 6
Blackbird 5
Great Tit 5
Chaffinch 3
House Sparrow 1
Greenfinch 3

Total 100 new & 3 retraps of 11 species.

One that left without a ring: Redwing (could have been 12 species). I wasn't happy as that is going to be a hard one to get again! It was a first for the location.

I was happy though that I hit 100 birds ringed over the festive period. Today I had higher numbers than on other occasions, but not so much variety. I now look forward to handing out jewellry to Bedfordshire birds after I have collected my Ivel Ringing Group rings.