Ringing today took place at Priory Country Park. I wanted to try for Corn Buntings coming to roost again on the crescent but on inspection, the ringing rack was mostly under water (waders needed) so this plan was abandoned. I did put my nets up in the rough though.
It was a slow start but by the end of the day, I had caught enough birds to make it a successful day.
Above: An adult male Kestrel. Only the second to have been ringed at Priory Country Park in over 20 years. Perhaps the cold and the frost had forced this individual to hunt for food and shelter in or near the Rough (the main ringing area). It was being mobbed by a Magpie or two before it and the Magpie were caught in the net (the Magpie escaped just before I got to it!).
Above: A female Blackcap. 2 males were also ringed. Good records. After my Strasbourg ringed individual yesterday at Sandy Smith Naure Reserve (see here), we're hoping these will get recaptured somewhere on the continent next spring/summer!
Above: One of 6 Lesser Redpolls. I have now caught 25 Redpolls at Priory CP this autumn.
Totals for the day (retraps in brackets):
Kestrel 1 (0)
Wren 2 (2)
Dunnock 0 (1)
Blackbird 5 (0)
Blackcap 3 (0)
Goldcrest 1 (1)
Long Tailed Tit 0 (2)
Blue Tit 1 (2)
Great Tit 1 (1)
Chaffinch 1 (0)
Lesser Redpoll 6 (0)
Bullfinch 3 (0)
The Kestrel was the obvious highlight closely followed by the 6 Lesser Redpolls.
Ringing more Blackcaps, Lesser Redpolls and Blackbirds are a priority at the moment as these have more potential to go somewhere interesting - and be found (though in truth I'll ring anything I can catch at the same time!).
Whilst out ringing I spotted, deep in the brambles, one of my (presumed) stolen bird feeders! 10 minutes of work with the shears and I had retrieved it - in tact. I then put it back up with nyger seed in it. Before I left, I also found half of the peanut feeder so just one and a half left to find! I am now pretty sure they are there to be found, just that they are buried deep somewhere. If I can find them, I'll put them back up
I think that I got caught in a battle between people inappropriately using the park (building dens & stealing materials to do so) and the rangers (trying to stop it). The den builders probably thought the feeders were council property & threw them away to make them difficult to find. This ties in with damage to council property at the same time. Bizarrely given the situation, I enjoyed the exercise it took to cut back the vegetation in order to get the feeders. So it did me some good!