This is a summary of the ringing at Stanford which took place between 27 August and 2nd September 2020. It was an extraordinary week. The centrepiece was our very own festival of 'Stanstock', modelled very much on Woodstock from 1969:
Not to be confused with:
For Stanstock, various group members comprising Dave, Theo, Kate, Stuart and Peter N camped out on the nights of 29 (nets up), 30, and the 31st of August, allowing ringing for three consecutive mornings. All nets were furled overnight and storm guyed. In addition, the group at large ringed on 27th August, and Mick, who clearly can't stop, ringed solo on the 2nd September.
It was only one evening at the White Hart, one Chinese takeaway and a fry up at base, plus beer, that kept us going. The weather was generally mild and (finally) with low winds. Over the week, we ringed a total of 1,595 new, 44 retraps and 3 controls. New birds were as follows:
Blackcap 651, Whitethroat 335, Willow Warbler 186, Sedge Warbler 112, Reed Warbler 85, Chiffchaff 67, Lesser Whitethroat 26, Robin 26, Garden Warbler 17, Grasshopper Warbler 15, Redstart 15, Blue Tit 15, Wren 6, Swallow 6, Great Tit 5, Chaffinch 5, Dunnock 4, Spotted Flycatcher 3, Goldcrest 3, Siskin 2 and single Tree Sparrow, Sand Martin, Lesser Redpoll, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, Whinchat, Buzzard and Wryneck!
The Wryneck is perhaps the most beautiful bird we have caught (subjective opinion), and this was only the second ringed at Stanford. If anything, the Buzzard is even more amazing; this is the only one we have ever ringed. Apparently Mick was on his own on the track, pondering life, when it just glided out of the woods directly into the nearest net, set across the track hedge. This was completely unprecedented and hasn't happened in 40 years of ringing (although there are some nets with buzzard sized holes in them)!
The three controls were all British: Sedge Warbler, Sand Martin (very unusual) and a Willow Warbler. We have ringed 59 species this year. The Stanford record is 63, so we are confident that we can equal this, and possibly beat it. Watch this space.
Stanstock is likely to be an annual feature as the last week in August seems to be great for migration. To top it all off, friend of the SRG Simon Watts has an excellent film of one day of the proceedings, which can be found on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51rSQIOpKc0
Stanford Ringing Group is entirely self funding. We are registered with easyfundraising. This provides us with funds at no cost to the user, whilst shopping on the interweb; if readers would like to help us, please use the link https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/
Thanks also to Chris H and Theo for photos.