Monday, December 28, 2009

A Learning Curve

There must have been some burning ears in the BBC weather centre as Will and I speculated why the predicted overnight “freezing fog” had simply never even looked like forming. No matter, we didn’t believe it anyway, having learnt to treat their predictions with some scepticism, so we headed off anyway for a ringing session on a cold but clear frosty morning but definitely no fog. Will had diligently fed Lee Farm for weeks, but only now was the weather good enough to give it a try as a couple of singing Robins watched us put the nets up.

Trusty Toyota


A three hour stint gave us 38 new birds with 2 retrapped from previous occasions. The recaptures were low because we hadn’t worked the site since last winter.

Birds caught:

Blackbird 9
Tree Sparrow 3
Blue Tit 2
Chaffinch 15
Robin 4
Song Thrush 1
Dunnock 6

We caught a couple of heavyweight male Blackbirds with visible fat, one of 126 grams, another of 127 grams. A nice adult male below.


And always good to catch a Song Thrush, now few and far between.

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

The farm is a good site for Chaffinch due to the amount of suitable hedgerow and woodland habitat close by. Out of our fifteen caught, twelve were males.



There seems to be no shortage of Dunnocks at the farm as we caught 8 but ringed only 6 of them. We left two unringed when we saw they had signs of “Bumblefoot”.


And here’s a fact with the loosest of connections to the above.

Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Ronald Jay Blumental) is an American guitarist, songwriter and producer best known for being one of two lead guitarists in the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He got the name "Bumblefoot" from the bacterial infection, which he learned about while helping his wife review for her veterinary exams.

So there are things to learn by logging into Another Bird Blog! Probably more than by logging into the BBC weather forecasts.

1 comment:

RKB said...


Bumblefoot isn't the same thing as you see on the feet of Dunnocks etc. Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection of the ball of the foot that is seen in captive raptors, due to poor husbandry. The scaly thing that Dunnocks/finches get on their legs is a viral infection, totally unrelated (and looks totally different). It's sometimes called 'scaly leg' but this is a cagebird disease caused by mites, so is also incorrect. The correct name for the thing you see on dunnock/chaffinch legs is papillomavirus.


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