Sunday, 2 January 2011

Back to Blue Tit Alley

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you had a good Christmas & I hope 2011 brings you lots of occasions to turn that frown upside down!

Today was my first ringing session of the new year at my Dad's house (aka Blue Tit Alley) and it brought lots of birds between 8.30am and dusk (with 2 hours off for a walk and lunch). 55 in total of 10 different species.

Wren 1 (ringing tick for here - surprised I didn't catch one earlier)
Blue Tit 41
Goldfinch 3
Blackbird 3
Coal Tit 1
Dunnock 3
Great Tit 1
Robin 1
House Sparrow 1
Chaffinch 1

What can I say. Blue Tit 41. 41! 41!! 41!!! They just kept coming and coming. 2 of them were retraps - L098313 (ringed on 07/02/10 as an adult [Euring age 6]) and L098364 (ringed on 29/12/10 - 4 days ago!). 36 of these blue tits were born last year.

If I add the total number of Blue Tit ringed last Wednesday (15) that makes 56 ringed in two sessions here. In contrast, just 1 Great Tit was ringed (only 1 or 2 seen during the day also).

A sparrowhawk swooshed past one of the nets missing by about 1 metre (and me by about 5 metres).

Above: Today's Wren. It was let go away from the nets, then it must have circled the house (missing another net) before flying into the same net again only 1 shelf higher! It must have wanted to roost nearby!

Last Wednesday's totals:

Blue Tit 15
Blackbird 4
Coal Tit 1
Dunnock 2

I'm surprised I don't get very many retrapped birds (226 birds ringed and only 12 recaught) - particularly amongst the tits. This may be because I don't ring here often enough. It could also be because the neighbours also feed the birds (most of the birds come from the direction of their garden into our feeders and back out the same way because it's well vegetated & therefore safer). I'm sure I'll get more, I just need to give it time and put in more effort ... starting tomorrow morning before I go back to Bedford.