Friday 1 May 2020

Bird ringing under Covid-19 lockdown - April 2020

The first full month of lockdown and bird ringing, nest recording and other survey work was restricted to gardens. For the rest of us, there was exercise, net repairs, catching up on literature and nightmares over rampant spring growth in winter-cleared net rides!

Only 45 new birds at two gardens were ringed of 13 species with Goldfinch top at 13.

One garden ringer's catch added Jackdaw and Woodpigeon to the usual smaller species. He was pleased to see a Blue Tit ringed in the same garden in November 2015 and a pair of Coal Tit in breeding condition.

Male Jackdaw (C Hunter Roach)

Another of the group's ringers used her daily exercise to record the unfolding of spring at Bedfont. At the main site, two Red Kite, two Buzzard and a pair of Sparrowhawks were frequently seen and a cock Pheasant was flushed on 20th – an unusual record for Bedfont.

A Lapwing dropped in on 2nd and two Common Sandpiper on 30th. A Kingfisher was seen on five occasions in the month with Swallows on 26th and 28th. New growth in the reedbed welcomed back Reed Warblers on 8th, with an estimated 16 birds on 30th. Only one Sedge Warbler was seen but two Cetti’s Warblers were vocal.

Blackcap reached 22 on 26th with a Garden Warbler on 30th, whilst Chiffchaff maxed at seven on 12th with a single Willow early in the month. Greenfinches were noisy but had left or settled to breeding by the end of the month and a female Reed Bunting was seen on 8th with a male in another area on 12th/14th.

At the scrubbier part of the site, a Kestrel was seen as well as the raptors from the main site. Swifts showed on 25th; Swallow on 27th; Lesser Whitethroat arrived on 19th and Whitethroat on 13th, reaching 9 on 27th; Blackcap peaked at 34 on 21st; Garden Warbler on 17th; Chiffchaff at twelve on17th.

Greenfinch numbers have built up with a high of 22 at the end of the month but Goldfinch fluctuated. 4 Wheatear were seen on the smallholdings on 17th.

Other creatures of note were: Peacock, Comma, Small White, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, a Green Hairstreak* and a Grass Snake* (photos: E Page).


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