Saturday 20th

Another very frosty start but this time a bit of a breeze removed some of the frost in exposed spots. Twenty-five birds were caught of which seven were new. The new birds were headed up by a Blackcap, there were also four House Sparrows, a Blackbird, and a Song Thrush.

Such is the scarcity of Starlings these days that it is worth mentioning the retrapping of one.

Friday 19th

Very cold and frosty but a bright sun warmed up exposed areas. Eleven birds were caught of which three were new (two Blackbirds and a Chaffinch). One of the Water Rails from 2023 was retrapped. The number of Blackbirds was disappointing as there are lots in the surrounding hedgerows. Where are the Chaffinches? Since the demise of Greenfinches and Starlings, Chaffinches have been one of the more frequent birds to be caught at this time of year.

Sunday 14th

After an unsettled week it was good to get the opportunity to try some ringing ahead of the very cold weather approaching. It proved productive with 48 birds caught of which 16 were new. Although finch numbers are still low there were two new Chaffinches and two Goldfinches. Three Fieldfares were also good and there was another new Chiffchaff, plus three retraps. The other new birds were a Robin, two Blackbirds, three Long-tailed Tits (plus eight retraps) and two Blue Tits. Some of these birds had an inkling of the weather coming and were laying down fat stores.

Saturday 6th

Although it was windier than forecast we were able to complete another winter project visit. Despite the cold northerly there was not a lot around. Six birds were ringed and 13 retrapped. The day started with a Fieldfare and finished with a Chiffchaff which sums up this mixed up winter.

Wednesday 3rd

Despite the breeze a few nets went up and eight birds were ringed - six Long-tailed Tits and two House Sparrows. There were seven retraps - two Goldcrests, and single Redwing, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit and House Sparrow.

Summary of 2023.

Just a few notes as the full round up will be in our annual report. In 2023 we ringed 4,915 birds and there were 1,263 retraps (4,797 and 1,246 in 2020). The ups in 2023 (2022 in brackets) included Whitethroat 101 (79), Garden Warbler 56 (12), Chiffchaff 970 (725), Great Tit pulli 39 (14), Long-tailed Tit 52 (32), and Lesser Redpoll 501 (290). Downs included Swallow 6 (46), House Martin 1 (14), 0 pipits and wagtails, Sedge Warbler 35 (74), Reed Warbler 124 (191) and Blackcap 1,354 (1,662).