A weekend in Gloucestershire:
On Saturday I went to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at Nature In Art (www.nature-in-art.org.uk). In my opinion (humble as it is!), it wasn't as good as other years. Don't get me wrong, there were some good photographs, and some outstanding ones, but I rarely agree with the overall winner (or category winners). One that stood out for me was the photograph of Bramblings (see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/photo.do?photo=2527&category=50&group=1).
On Sunday at my dad's house, an early start & good conditions for ringing (overcast but hardly any breeze & no rain!). Here are the results: 41 birds of 9 species - New (retrap)
Blackbird 4 (0)
Blue Tit 13 (1)
Chaffinch 2 (0)
Coal Tit 2 (0)
Collared Dove 1 (0)
Dunnock 5 (0)
Goldfinch 7 (1)
Greenfinch 3 (0)
House Sparrow 3 (0)
Above: A collared dove. I don't get much chance to see these birds in the hand, but having had a couple over Christmas flirting with the net, I was glad that this one left with a bit of silver.
Above: For a good number of years (10 or more) my Dad has been seeing Blackbirds with some white feathers in his Garden. Presumably all are related (and I think all have been male)and are part of the local population. If this is true then it is obvious that these birds have no trouble mating!
Above: A male Chaffinch. These do not visit the garden in large numbers, but they do visit regularly.
Above: A Goldfinch. These birds seem to be visiting the garden feeders a lot at the moment. A shortage of natural food at the moment perhaps. One bird of note, a retrap (first caught at Christmas) Goldfinch.
Above: Just an excuse to post another picture of a coal tit!
Above: Caught together, this male House Sparrow thought it only right and proper to preserve the modesty of the female House Sparrow. Usually, House Sparrows are clever and sit somewhere nearby to feeders most of the day and make a short foray to the feeders. At my Dad's house, I don't know of a nearby bush where they sit (that doesn't mean it doesn't exist) but I don't think they are very close by (otherwise I would have heard them).
Above: Relegated to 'the garage,' this is the view of my ringing station!