Overcast with mostly a cool but gentle breeze. Three new birds again, this time a Song Thrush and two Chaffinches. For the first time for a while no House Sparrows. The next task is getting some of the large nest boxes, which have been donated, up.
Good, fairly calm, conditions meant it was possible to ring this morning. Nineteen birds were caught of which three (another Long-tailed Tit and two House Sparrows) were new. We are clearly entering the 'empty time', when birds have depleted more of the natural food resources, as the feeders are emptying quickly.
Cool and very overcast with a bit more breeze than expected so a catch of 28 birds was satisfactory. The new birds were a Robin, two Long-tailed Tits and six House Sparrows.
The retraps were five Blackbirds, three Goldcrests, three Long-tailed Tits, one Blue Tit, four Great Tits and three Chaffinches. Two of the Long-tailed Tits were from two years ago. Considering the number of nestling House Sparrows ringed each year it is interesting to keep catching new House Sparrows.
Still cold but not as much frost. A quiet morning with just 12 birds. Four of these were new - singles of Robin, Blackbird and Redwing plus another Chiffchaff. One of the retraps was a Blue Tit which had been ringed elsewhere - of late these have been from local groups but we will see.
A second clear, sunny and frosty morning. Thirteen birds were caught of which nine were new, these were four Chaffinches, three House Sparrows, a Blackbird and a Redwing.
This time the cold has not brought any duck or Snipe into the trapping area, so far.
The rain at the beginning of the week has really raised the levels with most rides having at least some surface water. The cold overnight meant this water had an icy topping. Despite the frost it was a beautiful sunny start.
Thirty-six birds were caught of which 11 were new. This time Chaffinch (4) led House Sparrow (3). Single Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren, Dunnock and Great Tit were all new for the year. Of import for our contribution to the national winter ringing project are retraps and these were eight House Sparrows, five Great Tits, four Chaffinches, three Robins, two Blackbirds and single Dunnock, Chiffchaff and Blue Tit. The cold weather plus the using up of natural food sources means our feeders are of increased value.
Despite the strength of the wind it was possible to use some nets and 21 birds were caught. Nine of these were new - a Blackbird, a Chaffinch and seven House Sparrows. There were also two House Sparrow retraps and so the colour ringing project is getting off to a good start in 2023. All we need to do is find a source of rings now that Interrex seem to have stopped replying.
You might have guessed from the lack of posts that the weather is preventing much ringing activity and you would be correct. Today there seemed to be a slight window and although it was a bit more breezy than expected it was mild and sunny and strong overnight wind and rain. Fourteen birds were caught of which a Redwing and a Chaffinch were new. Amongst the retraps were two Green Woodpeckers and a four-year old House Sparrow. So far this is the maximum age our sparrows achieve.
Another calm interlude this time it yielded 16 birds, six of which were new. The highlight was a Moorhen in the Heligoland. The other new birds were a Blackbird, a Redwing, two more Chiffchaffs and a Goldfinch.
The Met. Office take a 1-nil lead over the local BBC forecast as there was no rain this morning. Fortunately we followed the Met. Office this time and had a pleasant mornings ringing. Thirty birds were caught of which six were new- these were five House Sparrows and a Chaffinch. The retraps were seven Blue Tits, four Goldcrests, three each of Robin and Blackbird, two each of Great Tit and Chaffinch plus single Redwing, House Sparrow and Goldfinch.
One of the Chaffinches was entering its 10th year and the Goldcrests reflect the generally mild nature of the winter so far, the first of these was ringed mid-September.
New Year Resolution
Read some colour rings. This long term project was set up to allow all users of the Observatory to contribute. You do not even need binoculars as the photo below shows.