Friday, 2 December 2011

Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh - 1/12/12

This mist netting session was another one that was meant to be taking place in the Crop Field at the north end of Colyford Common. But due to the apparant lack of birds currently feeding in and around the field, the group operated around the Field Studies Base on Stafford Marsh, and at the southern end of Colyford Common.

The Classroom and Field Studies Base - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Peter Bennett

Weather: Dry, a slight 'bite' in the air, but still relatively mild for the time of year, overcast with 85% cloud cover, no wind, good visibility.

Despite the conditons of the previous day (strong winds and rain), it proved an absolute ideal day for mist netting. When the sun is shining, mist nets stand out to both the human and birds eyes, so the cloud cover meant this wasn't an issue. Also the lack of wind ensured the mist nets remained still. When nets move in the wind, birds can see the momevent and this usually means for a lesser catch.

As well as mist netting, the Abberton Traps were also set on Colyford Common.

Abberton Traps - Colyford Common Dec '11 (c) Adrian Bayley

It was a very productive day of ringing, with a total of 68 birds of 14 species processed;

4 Moorhen
11 Blackbird (2 retraps)

1 Redwing

1 Song Thrush

3 Robin (1 retrap)

3 Dunnock (all retraps)

4 Wren (2 retraps)

1 Great Tit (retrap)
12 Blue Tit (8 retraps)

8 Long-tailed Tit (5 retraps)

2 Chaffinch

11 Greenfinch

5 Goldfinch (2 retraps)
2 Bullfinch (1 retrap)

So, the Abberton Traps did the trick with the Moorhens - which made a nice addition to the day's species list.

Extracting a Moorhen - Colyford Common Dec '11 (c) Peter Bennett

Processing Moorhens - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Adrian Bayley

3 Moorhen (aged by leg and bill colour, and body feather colouring) - Stafford Marsh Dec'11 (c) Adrian Bayley

There had obviously been something of a fall or arrival of thrushes with the numbers caught. The highlight was without doubt the Redwing - only the fourth ever to be trapped and ringed by the group.

Ageing the Redwing - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Peter Bennett

Redwing - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Adrian Bayley

Two 3M Blackbird (presumably migrants?) - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Adrian Bayley

Ageing the Song Thrush - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Peter Bennett

This session was attended by two of the group's most experienced A ringers...

How to tie up a guy correctly by Mike - Colyford Common Dec '11 (c) Adrian Bayley

But there was no doubting who was the session's designated 'A Ringer In Charge'...

Is this what they call 'overseeing?' - Stafford Marsh Dec '11 (c) Adrian Bayley