Sunday 19 February 2017

Yellowhammers doing well - January 2017

A fairly slow start to the year with low catches per session at those sites that opened nets. 156 new birds were ringed, with top place being taken by Dunnock on 27, just ahead of Blue Tit on 26.

5F Fieldfare (A V Kingston)
The 22 species included several that are hard to come by, with a Fieldfare at Tythebarns a good catch, and 16 Redwing in total.

Fieldfare - heavy wear to tail tips, compared to adults, indicate this bird hatched in 2016.

Birds in their first year put less energy into building feather strength favouring as quick as possible exit from their nests where they are vulnerable to predators.

Among 96 ringed at Woolley Firs there were together with the site's first Bullfinch and a magnificent 10 Yellowhammers.

A novel recovery headed our retraps this month. A ring placed on a Barn Owl at a nest in September 1987 was found by a metal detectorist at the end of 2016! The ring hadn't travelled far and the bird had long since perished so there is little to add to the story - but we don't get many of these.

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