Wednesday 9 February 2022

Some early year thoughts ..

Most of our ringing so far this year has been focused on gardens and hilltops..

Arfon has managed to colour ring 3 new Willow Tits on Cors Caron already this year to help his RAS study..

Colour-ringed Willow Tit

The new moon phase has given our trainees the opportunity to experience lamping. With the mild winter there have been a low number of waders roosting on our study fields. Thom, Morgan, Yusef and Toni  have all ringed birds on the hilltops with us - several birds were ringed after their first time with the torch or net - and some variety ringed with SkylarkSnipeJack SnipeGolden Plover as well as Woodcock 

This thermal image picture was taken on Frenni Fawr on the approach to a successful catch of a Golden Plover. The shapes in the distance are Crymych with the roof tops on the industrial estate showing intensely black on a cold night and the building showing white and warm is the sheltered accommodation by Crymych Surgery.

Arfon has now ringed 100 Woodcock on his study farms in North Carmarthenshire this winter. Totals for him so far this year are 31 Woodcock, 3 Golden Plover, 5 Snipe and 1 Jack Snipe. He caught a 2nd Woodcock with a very short bill at 51mm and this adult Woodcock with unmoulted outer primaries/

Unusual to see contrast in Woodcock primaries

In winter the main group training activity is garden ringing. 
Wendy's garden has proved very valuable for developing extraction skills as well as more general ageing and sexing, birds being caught in mist, potter or Whoosh nets, again some variety to learn to handle ..

Jackdaw caught in a Whoosh net

Handling some Starlings gives an ideal opportunity to teach different ageing and sexing characteristics.

Comparing tail covert shape

Having been ringing at this location for over 10 years many birds are caught from previous years. The table below shows the year of ringing from 2 gardens so far this year, both garden sites have ringing history including a Siskin RAS and now a CES study.

Initial ringing year Llechryd and Boncath gardens

The oldest retrap was a Great Spotted Woodpecker ringed on 20th December 2012 and also retrapped 2016 and 2020. 

We held our AGM on the 2nd February using Zoom again, most of the Group took part in the brief and relatively formal meeting. We had a look back at a successful year and discussed lots of positive ideas for the year ahead. We plan to have a more social and open meeting during early April. 

Rich D and Wendy J