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.