A change of venue for this session. Dave Chris and Heather were joined by Sarah at the Kenfig Reserve Centre on what was a perfect morning for ringing. No wind and just slightly overcast.
The nets were up by about 06:45 - 1 x 60' adjacent to the car park and another 30' net in the scrub alongside the centre building.
Not large numbers but a steady run of birds for the couple of hours we were there.
Interesting snippet of news received today was the report of a Goldcrest first ringed as a juvenile at the reserve September last year was reportedly found in Port Talbot on the 14th March. Good know it survived the winter and recovered from it's encounter with a window!
Heather, Leighton and Chris were at the site for 07:15 even though previous experience shows the birds don't get there too early. Along with the usual run of 5 nets (3x60' and 2x40') we also again added the short nets in the hope of catching skylark ( flocks were again in evidence throughout the morning)
We also added two 60' nets in a dog leg at the lower corner of the field.
Catching was again slow and disappointingly the added net was not productive.
Following information from recent publications (Demongin) a number of dunnock were aged as 5 based on buff colour contrast on the tips of the greater coverts and also the dark line at the tip of the primary coverts which becomes more apparent when the wing is partially closed.
It will be interesting to see how this detail is confirmed over the coming months when we are catching known age birds.
Also took a picture of a very clear age criterion for greenfinch.
Note the 3 unmoulted greater coverts on this juvenile male.
Don't often see pictures of blue tit, but they are worth it after the effort of extracting the feisty little things.
Dave and Becky arrived a little later in the morning to supervise and deliver additional seed. Did not however manage to bring better luck and increase the number of birds caught.
No skylarks so we went home about mid day.
Heather, Leighton and Chris had the nets up at about 8 am though it had been light for a while. We know the birds seem to be late risers in these parts, or are elsewhere getting the early worms since we only offer seeds of various types.
In keeping with previous sessions each successive net round seems to produce more birds and we started with 1 and the last of the day provided about 12 though a few same day retraps were in that total.
A relatively rare catch for us was the woodpigeon. Quite a handful to both extract and process and we didn't have a scale large enough to weight it, but demurred from describing it as obese since that was obviously our fault. I also forgot to photograph it.
It was good to start catching the target birds for the site, namely yellowhammer and reed bunting.
Should also be noted that there were a flock of well in excess of 100 skylark, though our attempts at attracting them with a "tape" lure failed, as we are not up to the standards of our usual bird DJ (Cedwyn.)
Heather and Chris were joined by Leighton this morning making use of the second time in a week that there was a favourable forecast.
The feeding obviously seems to be starting to work as there were far more birds in evidence, including the target birds for the site, namely Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. There were also very large flocks of Skylark (good) and Wood Pigeon (not so good, as far as John the farmer is concerned, as they take far too much of his rapeseed crop)
Interestingly the catch was very small for the first rounds with most of the birds being caught after 10:00am. It did make us wonder whether we should leave getting up in the dark and just turn up later if the birds can't be bothered to make it there earlier!
Heather and Chris made the best of the weather to get to TyC for 07:40 just as it was getting light.
With the nets up before 08:15 we were hoping for a good catch though it was eerily quiet on the bird front.
We did however have a very successful morning before leaving at about eleven.
The total weight of birds caught was just under a quarter of a kilo though we have to own up it was only 3 birds, but it's not all about numbers as we always say on such occasions.
The reason for such a positive morning was that bird number 2 was a Kestrel which we had to separate from it's breakfast before we could take it out of the net. The dunnock was not so content with it's final day, and we did think the blue tit which was about six inches away from the kestrel may suffer some avian form of PTSD. However it flew away happily enough after it was processed.
A few pictures.