A tidy session in Wendy's garden this morning, with appetites sharpened by a bit of a frost, produced a total of 33 new birds (of which 12 were Siskins), and 14 retraps (of which 10 were from previous years).
Star bird of the morning was this adult male Brambling, providing a nice contrast with the female of a few days ago, and upping TRG's Brambling total by 100%.
This being my first post on the TRG Blog, a few words of introduction for those whom I haven't met yet: Formerly with Grampian Ringing Group, and latterly with Cardiff Bird Ringers, I'm in the process of renovating a house at Llandudoch (aka St.Dogs) which will become my permanent home in due course, hopefully in time for me to pitch in with the Teifi Marshes CES this coming season. My ringing interests are all-encompassing, i.e. anything I can catch; but in particular I'll be hoping to get a few TRG RAS projects off the ground, once we've all decided what would be most viable.
Rather a nice surprise to find a Brambling in my garden net this weekend. One had been around the feeders a few weeks ago in the snow but not seen since. This was a new species for the group as they aren't very common this far west.
Even more surprising was that my handy in house photographer came out to take pictures of the bird in the middle of a rugby match, Wales beating Italy !
Richard was ringing with Karen in his garden today and they were very surprised to catch a second calendar year male Siskin that she had ringed in my garden 10 days previously.
A distance of 3.93 miles between sites, from the Teifi valley up to the hills of the Preselis.
Is his feeding based on random winter wanderings ?
With 200 Siskin
ringed at the two sites in the last 4 weeks, and 2 controls already, answers are perhaps on the way ....
This is the fourth winter of ringing Siskins on a small scale in the garden with just a 12 foot net near a Nyjer feeder. On the day when we ringed the 200th Siskin, at last, a foreign control. This female had a Brussels ring.
Also a retrap Siskin from February 2011.
Other birds today included 13 Goldfinches and a Treecreeper.
Richard was ringing at the same time at his new garden site at a higher elevation as a comparison. He caught 28 new Siskins bringing his total this year to 61 already and a control.
Wendy and I caught this beauty tonight, showing the characteristic ageing of an adult, with whitish tips to the primary coverts and very flat tips to the inner primaries. This, the third winter that we have caught this bird in the same pasture field on the same farm at our Boncath site !
Last night up on the Frenni with Bethan, two more retraps and three new birds. The first retrap we ringed on this same site 14th Feb 2012. The second retrap had been ringed on the Frenni by Paddy on 14th January 2012 whilst we were in Uganda ! What a Pembs team effort !
Our fourth wonder to come to light today...... ringed as a first winter on the Frenni by Paddy on 10th November 2010 but was shot on the Stackpole Estate in South Pembs on 17th January 2013, an interesting movement and change in wintering area.....
Last night out on the slopes of Frenni with Bethan, her first night out with the lamp and what a start !
First bird under the net a Skylark, a few winter up here, but infrequently caught.
Then 2 woodcock, both juveniles, mostly adults so far........so a great start to a week of decreasing moon.
In the garden last week with one twenty foot net.......a novelty for me and in short pre-work sessions too....but amongst 25 Siskins we had one nice control, and four Great Spotted Woodpecker. Three females and one male who together did less damage to the hands than this female in Costa Rica...
Hairy Woodpecker was a nice surprise to band in Costa Rica too...