66 birds kept us fairly busy and stopped our fingers seizing up from the cold which hovered around freezing point all morning. Sue kindly provided us with copious coffee in hand warming mugs, not to mention the bacon butties that came with the compulsory brown sauce, all of which also kept the cold at bay; Garden ringing can be so civilized compared to some of the grotty situations that we ringers often find ourselves in.
Although the Chaffinch were a bit slow arriving, the Siskin were there from the off, calling excitedly from the tops of the alders in the half light and we caught three of them on the first net round then another later on when the tardy Chaffinch arrived for a feed.
The four hour session saw us catch the following birds, of which pretty much 50% comprised finch species:
Blue Tit 17
Coal Tit 3
Great Tit 7
We caught an interesting adult male Goldfinch that had flecks of yellow/gold in the red of the plumage around its head. I wouldn’t say we catch many Goldfinch in the course of a year but perhaps enough to say we may have seen this before, but none of us had. Picture below.
In between the ringing we noted both a male and a female Sparrowhawk that passed by separately for a brief look at what was on offer, a couple of Redwing and two Collared Dove. There are a couple of Treecreepers in Will’s garden that not only visit the bird table but also feed on the ground below the table and it was most interesting to watch them creeping across the hard standing picking up morsels of food, naturally we christened them “Groundcreepers”. The garden also has a healthy population of very clever House Sparrow who totally avoid going anywhere near our nets.