A cold, calm, frosty morning did not tempt more birds and there were just two new (a Blackbird and a Chaffinch) and ten retraps (two Robins, two Blackbirds, two Chaffinches, two House Sparrows, a Great Tit, and a Chiffchaff).
Another dull morning but an early breeze dropped away and ringing was possible. We caught nine new and 13 retrap birds. This did include a couple of new Blackbirds and there did seem to be more thrushes around. A single Starling was new for the year and reflection of the low numbers around most of the winter. This time there were two retrap Chiffchaffs, one appeared in good condition but the other was in need of catching some more insects. Now that most of the natural food has been eaten House Sparrows are getting a bit more regular despite there skill at avoiding nets three more new ones and two retraps were caught.
Definitely a cold start but the breeze did not get up too quickly and 21 birds were caught. Nine of these were unringed - six House Sparrows and three Chaffinches. The Sparrows are pleasing as they are colour ringed by us as part of the national Retrapping Adults for Survival project. Amongst the retraps was a Chiffchaff which is still hanging around despite the cold spell.
It was a bit of a shock when, just before setting off, there was a very sharp shower as only drizzle had been suggested. Fortunately this seemed to clear the air and it was a good morning. Thirty-eight birds were caught of which 16 were Chaffinches - eight of them new. Also new were a Blackbird, a House Sparrow, and two Goldfinches.
An enthusiastic team gathered to make the most of fairly favourable conditions. Thirty-five birds were caught of which six were new (a Wren, two Blackbirds, and three Chaffinches). Of note amongst the retraps were singles of Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, and Great-spotted Woodpecker.
Only a fairly small amount of management work was possible last year, partly due to the pandemic, but not helped by the late winter flooding. It is good to be able to get on with stuff this winter. Today's main task was replacement of the Kestrel nest box. The Silver Birch in which this sat died and bits have been dropping off. A new box was put up in another tree and the old one removed, I hope the new one will be as successful as the old one. On the subject of Silver Birches the ones in the Oasis are dying off. They all seem to be of a similar age and it maybe they are just naturally reaching the end of their life in what is a tough habitat. If anybody is digging up birches, so as to remove them, we would be happy to try them as replacements. We also have some space for berry carrying shrubs such as Elder and Hawthorn.
With a lull in the continual wind and/or rain forecast the opportunity to run a few nets was taken. Seventeen birds were caught of which nine were new. These were a Blackbird, three Fieldfares, a Redwing, two Chaffinches, a Blue Tit, and a Chiffchaff. Despite the time of the year the latter continue to show up but all are typical western European appearance.