This weekend I've been ringing at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve. There has been, as has been typical of this winter, a lack of birds coming to the feeders. However, this weekend a lack of quantity was made up for in quality (at least in my humble opinion).
Above: One of 5 Lesser Redpoll's ringed (previous site total = 2). Unfortunately, I saw a few more Redpoll's 'bounce' but I can't complain. 1 Siskin also ringed (the Siskin flock is smaller c. 150 at best this year than last c.300 at best, and still proving difficult to catch).
At 11.10am this morning I got jammy.
Above: A Brambling - a first for SSNR and my first self caught Brambling. A complete surprise as I hadn't even seen them on site before. It came to the feeders (so there is hope of catching more). Not many Bramblings have ever been ringed in Bedfordshire so I can count myself lucky.
What I didn't post earlier:
On Boxing day at my Dad's house, I caught a Blue Tit with an abnormally long beak. This kind of thing does happen, and when it does, one of the mandibles is usually longer than the other and/or misshapen. This one however was well formed and both mandibles were of equal length.
Above: The mandible of the Blue Tit on the left was 14mm compared to a more normal length of 8mm for the Blue Tit on the right.
On the 5th October last year, I added another species to my ringed list. Mute Swan at Priory Country Park. I include this so you can have a laugh at the photo below. It really wasn't as painful for me (or the bird) as the picture makes it look...