Friday, 4 December 2020

Before The Rains...

After a hectic Autumn, things have quietened down at Stanford. In November, we only ringed 504 birds. The weather has been fairly grim. Our winter visitors have been scarce, with only 5 fieldfare, 177 Redwing and 25 Lesser Redpoll ringed. A brave foray into the paddock at the reservoir produced a grand total of 7 birds starting off with three re-trapped wrens, the expedition was partly mitigated by two new Treecreepers. 

However the retiree midweek ringers Mick and Peter N have had some luck. Our resident patch birder, Chris H reported a pair of Bearded Tits at the reservoir. On the first visit to the Leicestershire reedbed we were told that the birds had just flown off,  but on our second visit on the 16th, we were initially  rewarded with a nice female beardie:

The first ever ringed at Stanford! This was then followed by an even more pristine male:

Stonking! There had also been reports of Brambling amongst the Beech trees at the main entrance to the reservoir, so the midweekers decided to have a go at finding them. On the 20th we put up a line of three 60' nets under the trees while it was still dark and waited. At 1000 we thought our chances had gone, expecting to find Brambling early in the morning. However on the next round there was a very nice female in the last net:

This was then followed by an even nicer male. Two days later, Peter N was ringing again at the top road, when he found a really cracking male, which was ringed by Theo, a ringing tick for him:

This means that, despite all the obstacles, we have broken the previous annual  record for the number of species ringed, which stood at 63, with this year's total of  69! 

Best wishes for all ringers out there, let's hope for a peaceful and uneventful 2021 (and lots of birds).

Thanks to Chris and Theo for photos