Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Probably a bit late to be wishing readers a happy new year but there you go… I probably should have made it a new year’s resolution to blog a bit more often but I failed to do that but at least I’m updating now.
Firstly, I’ve got a bit of interesting news just before Christmas from Tony Taylor who I ringed with on Lundy last October. You may remember me posting a photo of an eastern type Chiffchaff which we though looked pretty good for a Siberian Chiffchaff (tristis). It conveniently shed a small feather which made its way to Aberdeen (I think) where the clever people there concluded that the feather did indeed belong to a Siberian Chiffchaff (at least in its Maternal ancestry).
Here’s the little critter. Obviously a hybrid can't be ruled out but its certainly halfway there.

Christmas was a rather wet one so ringing was limited and birding was non-existent! Managed to ring two out of the four local Cygnets ringed with the help of my mate Rich who also joined me at my uncles garden for a bit of mist netting on what was probably the only suitable day throughout the whole festive season! A respectable 30 birds were caught which was made up of 10 species including Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Jackdaw. The latter being the first I’ve ever had go into a mist net and stay there long enough to get hold of! Here’s a photo of me sitting on a swan…

No swans were harmed in the making of this blog and this is by far the safest and easiest way of holding onto a swan for ringing unless you’ve got one of them swan jackets which I didn’t have.

This morning I visited a new garden ringing site in Charminster near Dorchester. Conditions looked good with no wind and overcast skies however the temperatures didn’t particularly feel at all wintery so birds weren’t flocking to the feeders. Caught a reasonable  39 birds in total including a control Blue Tit which was ringed down in Martinstown, 2 Blackcap and a Starling which isn’t a species I see very often in the hand. Was also really nice to catch a few House Sparrow which is again a species I don’t usually get a most of my other ringing sites.
Here’s mister and mrs  Blackcap.

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