Sunday, 16 November 2014

A chat or two...

For various reasons, I haven't been out ringing in Bedfordshire for 6 weeks, so it was nice to be out again. Quality was the order of the day and it took some patience. At Sandy Smith Nature Reserve, 6 birds were ringed between dawn and 2pm when the rain came.

Above & Below: A female Stonechat

This pair of Stonechats have been around the reserve for 6 weeks or more and are probably overwintering there. Both were youngsters. To put this in some perspective, the Ivel Ringing Group have only ever ringed 3 - the last one 20 years ago. I don't think many have been ringed in the county by other ringers either.

Above & Below: A male Stonechat

Two Wrens were ringed either side of the Stonechats. But as the nets were located in an area not conducive to catching lots of birds, I thought I'd try for other species I wouldn't normally catch. One Meadow Pipit was ringed (the last ones I caught here was in 2011), and a species I've never ringed before:

Above & Below: A Pied Wagtail 

The Stonechats and the Pied Wagtail are new species ringed for the site. I have now ringed 52 species here. I packed up when the rain came, but didn't leave as my net rides needed a trim and the feeders topping up. Now I am home, I can reflect on a enjoyable days work well done!