29 Dec 2011


The first bird I 'controlled' on Hilbre was  Long-tailed Tit. The first bird I 'controlled' ringing in the garden was a Long-tailed Tit. The second bird I 'controlled'in the garden was a Long-tailed Tit.. Aggghhh - they're stalking me!

As part of our ringing routine we always do a few sessions in Barry's garden in Burton with the aim of monitoring and studying the survival rates of the local tit populations over the winter period. A great way to spend a winters day fortified with Barry's home-made sloe gin and Clare's soup and hot rolls along with numerous cups of tea as the garden shed is turned into a ringing station for the day.

As the title suggests - paranoia - they're following me! We caught a fantastic flock of 10 Long-tailed Tits and after ringing them released them altogether. Photo's courtesy of Barry Barnacal.
 Extraction team at work.
A bird in the hand - both adult and juvenile Long-tailed Tits undertake a full post breeding / post juvenile moult so at this time of year it is impossible to age them. House Sparrows have a similar moult strategy.
Releasing the Lotti flock.

Here's a couple of birds we caught in Barry's garden a month or so ago. We caught 79 birds yesterday including some relatively old Blue / Great Tits but on occasions we've caught 150 - 200 which keeps us all busy.

Many thnaks to Barry for inviting us to ring in his garden and for the sloe gi nand tea - not to mention the fine malt to warm the cockles as darkness fell!

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