Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Steady If Unremarkable

Tuesday morning I met up with Andy and Craig for a ringing session at Oakenclough. Recent weather and other setbacks delayed the opportunity but at last everything came good in a way best summed up by today’s headline. 

Things were quieter than of late in both numbers and species however we managed to catch 54 birds, 24 new ones, 29 recaptures from recent weeks and a single “control”. 

Control is the terminology ringers use to describe a bird bearing a ring from elsewhere, in this case a first winter male Goldfinch with a standard British ring but inscribed with a letter/number combination we don’t own. In due course, and once the record is submitted to and analysed by the BTO database, the original ringing data of who, when and where will be sent to us. In return the original ringer will find out when and where “their” Goldfinch was recaptured and who captured it on 30th December 2014. 

Our new birds comprised 7 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 7 Blue Tit, 4 Great Tit and 2 Goldcrest. Recaptures materialised as 13 Coal Tit, 12 Blue Tit, 3 Goldfinch, 1 Dunnock. No new Coal Tits and 13 recaptures of the same species suggest that we may have caught a good proportion of those wintering in the immediate area. 

Coal Tit



In between our bursts of ringing activity a little bird watching in the immediate area found 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 Jay, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Raven.

Craig located a small flock of 12 Siskin and 6 Goldfinch feeding in the alder trees. We are hoping that the regular catches of Goldfinches will soon be augmented by their two near relatives once they decide to add niger seed to their diet.


Pied Wagtail

Further to the problems of last week when some miserable sod stole bird feeders from this site, a kind blogger friend in Kentucky sent me a link to read how others have tackled equally selfish thieves. 

Read about the remarkable things that some folk will steal and have a good laugh about the victims’ understandable outrage and subsequent responses at

More birds soon from Another Bird Blog. 


eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, looks like a successful ringing.. I am always amazed at your handheld birds. Awesome photos.. I wish you a great new year of birding.. And a happy, healthy New Year!

TexWisGirl said...

that tiny little goldcrest is amazing. just like our tiny kinglet. :)

Chris Rohrer said...

That Goldcrest looks similar to our Golden-crowned Kinglet. Cute tiny bird. Sounds like a fun time out but what kind of idiot steals bird feeders. I never understood that thinking. I had some hummingbird feeders on my grounds and moved one closer the border of the property....where it was stolen. Now everything stays close to my windows. Thanks for the link and Happy New Year!

Linda said...

Such beautiful and delightful birds, Phil.

Thank you so much for all you share on your blog, I really appreciate and enjoy your posts.

Happy 2015...I hope it will be a great year for you...and that every day will be wonderful.

Mary Cromer said...

Such sweet, wee, little birds! Happy New Year Phil! It has been a difficult month for me. If I sit to use the desktop, within a minute, or two the nerve compression pain begins. If I lie down, and prop up my laptop, which is very slow to run, as I am doing now, I have pain relief. Thus said, I need a cure fast as have much to do and this is very difficult. Take good care~

Wally Jones said...

Happy New Year, Phil!

It's good to hear your ringing session came together and that you had steady activity.

That link you provided on thievery was entertaining! And timely.

Gini and I were enjoying breakfast in the truck the other day while we watched bird activity at a local lake shore. A couple of shady characters drove up and eventually we watched in the rear view mirrors as they pilfered items from trucks in the parking lot (left by fishermen who had launched boats and were out on the lake).
Our call to the police resulted in adding a new species for our 2014 list: "Jailbirds"(Furcifur legirupa)!

Take care in this new year and above all - have fun!

Terri Buster said...

Beautiful birds- the Goldcrest is so tiny!!
Happy New Year!

Stewart M said...

Well I don't suppose it's everyday you trap a mega rarity! But all the information helps I suppose!

I tell myself this on my 250 Red-Necked Stint as the darkness falls and I know we still have tomorrows nets to set!

Cheers and a happy New Year - Stewart M - Melbourne

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