Getting to South Milton has been a bit of a struggle in the last month or so and keeping the blog up to date even more so. Suitable weather conditions for ringing always seem to clash with my shifts at Home Park mass vaccination centre. At present I feel that getting the vaccine into the arms of the hesitant has to take priority. On the few days when I have managed a ringing session the gap between visits has meant more vegetation to clear before I can get the nets up and, frustratingly, the numbers of birds have been low as well. The table below shows just how much Covid has impacted on the number of sessions in the last two years.
There have been three visits on the 8th and 22nd of July and 3rd August since my last report. The combined total is 116 birds processed of which 104 were new with 11 re-traps and one control. The controlled bird was an adult, female Sedge Warbler with a UK ring, which initially caused me some confusion. The ring string I am currently using for this species is prefixed AVJ as was the ring on the bird in question, which made me assume that it was a re-trap. However, I always ring on the right leg with the ring orientated so that it is the correct way up if a bird happens to be photographed in the field. This bird had an inverted ring on its left leg. On closer inspection, I realised that my ring numbers begin with 7 whilst the control ring started with 1. This is the first time I’ve seen the ring numbers coinciding like this and I assume it must be a pretty rare event. I routinely check for rings on the left leg after inadvertently adding a second ring to a Blue Tit in the past. Just one more thing to look out for in the future!
Totals for the last three visits are: 9 Blackbird, 16 Blackcap, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Bullfinch, 23 Chiffchaff, 5 Dunnock, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 15 Reed Warbler, 5 Robin, 9 Sedge Warbler, 2 Song Thrush, 5 Willow Warbler and 9 Wren.