1 Aug 2017

A bit of ringing

The weekend got off to a good start when we spent a few hours ringing in Barry's garden with trainee Thomas. Work commitments and then a meeting with our builders meant I could only stay a few hours but the total for the day ended up being 109 birds of which only 8 were retraps and 8 species.
Great experience gained for Thomas.

With the weather fairish Sunday and being up early as Jan was getting picked up at 06.30 I decided to set the mist nets on our garden for a few hours and forget renovation works for awhile. Unfortunately the wind picked up a few hours later but I still ringed a respectable 51 birds of 9 species including 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers - 3 juveniles and an adult male! I also caught a Blue Tit that had been ringed as a pullus in one of our nest boxes in May.

Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker head pattern above.

 Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker head pattern above.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers can be a pain to age as they actually start moulting in the nest before they fledge. At this time of year they're easy and eye colour can also be a good indication of age even when they've attained their adult head feathers. Juveniles, like many other species, have dull brown eyes whereas adults have red eyes.
 Adult Great Spotted Woodpecker eye colour above and juvenile below.

A few of the adult birds were in full moult including this unfortunate Blue Tit that was first ringed as a Euring 5 (2nd calendar year) earlier this year - it had almost completed its wing moult and was in full body moult.

 Another nice bird to see was a juvenile House Sparrow. We've got a few coming to the feeders now but they've resolutely refused to use the boxes I've put up especially for them.


Steve Worsley said...

Poor Blue Tit not very flattering

Phil Woollen. said...

They get pretty scruffy this time of year Steve. Good weight though and good fat score. I feed throughout the summer to give both juvenile and adult birds a good start. Its interesting that they use the feeders more when its wet as, presumably, they're able to find natural food more easily when its dry and sunny.