Sunday, January 17, 2010


Will and I were due some ringing after the recent weeks of frustrated intent and weather related cancellations. So with a good forecast we met at 0730 at our woodland site south of Lancaster town centre whilst other team members went off to Stanley Park in pursuit of wildfowl.

The wood and parkland on the site of an old hospital is very much a thrush site as confirmed by the first couple of net rounds when we quickly caught 19 Blackbird in the four mist nets erected. Of the 19 caught only three had no visible fat, the rest with scores between 1 and 5 but the heaviest a first winter male that tipped the scale at 130 grams and three birds in the high 120’s.


The woodland was noticeably quiet in respect of Chaffinch and we caught only two, very unusual. But inevitably we added those woodland favourites, Wren, Robin and single Blue and Great Tit.

Despite being quite close to the city centre the habitat is obviously attractive to roosting Woodcock and this being a Woodcock “year” we had a walk through the woodland to weigh up the numbers here. We flushed at least eight that headed off in various directions but one ended up in a net. This is the first one the ringing group has ringed since 1998, the last of a run in the 1990’s when we caught several at woodland roosts; so this one today was well overdue. With reference to “Ageing of Holarctic Waders” we think this bird a first winter male but stand to be corrected by anyone with more recent experience than the 1990’s!



We don’t catch many Treecreepers either. In fact they are now pretty scarce in the Fylde. So finding two in a net together was also past the due date.


Other birds seen but not caught included 4 Nuthatch, 2 Jay, 1 Mistle Thrush plus 1 Goldcrest, a couple of Goldfinch plus sundry titmice.

The session was over fairly quickly as the birds dried up but allowing a little time to call in at Conder Green before heading home. The pool itself has almost thawed but held little, with most of the interest being on the creek and surrounds with 3 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank and the wintering Common Sandpiper, a good January tick, 90 Teal and a couple of Wigeon. There were several hundred Pink-footed Geese overflying from the Pilling direction and heading towards the Lune marshes.


Sgaorishal said...

Aging woodcock see link below's/%20A5%20ageing%20small.pdf

Unravel said...

Wow the woodcock looks so pretty!
The first one since 1998!? They must have a very good eyesight.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Really cool; I loved the woodcock, especially its wings :)

Mexican Prickly Poppy [Argemone Mexicana, Satyanashi, सत्यानाशी]

Peter Fearon said...


I'm looking for European ringers to collect extra biometric data as part of a project on Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch and Blue Tit. I see you are catching decent numbers of Blackbirds which is fantastic!

Would you be interested in taking some extra biometrics for the project? If so, drop me an email at: fearon.peter (at) or check out my blog at



Phil said...

Thanks Guys.

Peter. Let me know what bios you require and we will do our best. Phil

Peter Fearon said...

Hi Phil,

Drop me an email at fearon.peter (at) and I'll send the info over.



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