30 Nov 2015

Garden ringing.

There hasn't been much opportunity to do much ringing over the last month or so due to either poor weather or being abroad on business trips. I've managed a session in our garden where highlights included a flock of Long-tailed Tits (including a bird I'd ringed earlier in the year) and another Great-spotted Woodpecker.

These are always a pleasure to see and I'm always amazed at the length of their tails as shown in the photo above. Long-tailed Tits can't be aged in the autumn as both juveniles and adults undergo post complete post juvenile/ post breeding moults. In the 70's I remember there was some talk about aging them on eye ring colour and we were asked to record when I was training at Wicken Fen. It was soon realised that this was unreliable as re-trapped birds were being caught with different colour eye rings than they were first ringed with!

We also managed a session at Barry's place in Burton. A fantastic day with over 120 birds processed. Highlights were the first Siskin of the autumn and not one but tow Blackcaps. A male and a female! Are these late autumn migrants or overwintering birds that might have come to the UK from the continent? Hopefully we'll get a ringing recovery and find out.

With ringers complaining about Blue Tits being gram for gram the most vicious birds on the planet it was quite apt this bird was ringed with a ring number ending in 007. Blue Tit 007 - licensed to kill!

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