Sunday, 8 December 2013

Ringing in the changes

The number of blackbirds is building up nicely in the study site, particularly around the paddocks. So this is where we headed on Friday for the third catch of the winter. We were hoping for at least one new blackbird as the last two outings have drawn blanks.
We caught three males in quick succession while putting up the nets and while these were being processed we caught a further two birds! Our project total now stands at 55 and we'll hopefully increase this total over the coming weeks. The session's "by catch" was a surprise too, containing as it did two young magpies. Despite being a common bird, only 30 magpies were ring in Wales in 2012 and only 6 of these were caught in Glamorgan.

Three in a row! These males were the first of five new birds added to the
project. These three were in at least their second calendar year while the fourth
was one of this year's young. Our fifth bird was a female.
Friday's session was also the start of a new colour ringing scheme. We have been having some trouble with obtaining field sightings of the coded rings and so have begun using a conventional plain colour rings. Over the coming months we will be comparing which of the two techniques is most effective. Should you see blackbirds with either ring type then please let us know!

One of Friday's blackbirds ringed with conventional plain colour rings.
Hopefully these rings will increase the ease with which birds are resighted in
the field. We will keep you posted on the comparison.
A big thank you to Hattie, Ellie, Laura and Chrissie for helping with the session.

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