A steady morning’s ringing with enough gaps to enable me to complete a few more non-urgent maintenance tasks without any great pressure. Normally, by this time of year, the trees at South Milton have just about finished shedding their leaves but the continuing mild weather and the lack of wind-blown salt spray has left many of the Willows hanging on to theirs. Once all the leaves have fallen, the margins of the sewage works become the focus of attention but, at present, birds are spread thinly throughout the ringing area. There was a welcome sign that wintering numbers are beginning to build with four Goldcrest and seventeen Chiffchaff amongst the total.
I uncovered a heavy, rubber, fencing support block some time ago, which was buried in the undergrowth and might have been there since the sewage works was constructed many moons ago. It’s now sitting under the reedbed end of my bridge to Marsh Ride, hopefully raising it clear of future floods in the stream and further reducing the risk of it being swept downstream again.
I have also been nurturing a selection of Rowan, Hawthorn and Bird Cherry saplings at home as an insurance policy in the case of widespread Ash dieback. A number of young Ash trees are now showing clear signs of disease so I planted twelve of my saplings to replace them. Hopefully, all three species will prove attractive to passage thrushes in the future and maybe even the occasional Waxwing!
38 birds were trapped: 6 Blackbird, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 17 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 1 Robin 1 Song Thrush and 1 Wren.