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Having spotted c70 Redwing last week at Woolley Firs it was decided that we should have a go at catching some this weekend. This did mean a really early start as we needed to get the nets in place before first light. With a 0600 hrs meet time agreed and a 40 mile journey to site I set my alarm for 0420, I also factored in time to thaw the car as a -3°c frost had been forecast for Epsom Downs!

A small team of 4 arrived on site at the designated time and we set about setting up, splitting into 2 teams we soon had the nets in place.

The first round was key to our Redwing success and we weren’t disappointed with 9 caught. After we’d processed the initial catch we added some double panel nets in the hope of catching Skylark, a few had been spotted by the staff during the week.  Subsequent rounds throughout the morning didn’t yield any more Redwing, or Skylark for that matter but we did catch a good number of other thrushes, 11 Blackbird (a session record for the site beating the previous high by some margin) and a single Song thrush. Other species on the day; 4 Great tit, 3 Blue tit, a Robin, a flock of c20 Meadow pipits were seen in a tree near by late on, so with a quick change of bird call on the players we managed to encourage 6 to the nets, however the c20 Yellowhammer we also spotted couldn’t be tempted!

We ringed our last bird at 1230 hrs, bringing the total to 35, and proceeded to set down. With another successful session in the bag we retired to the local for a well earned meal and a pint.

Other birds of note spotted; Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel (sat atop one of the net poles!)

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wf 027

Meadow pipit

Redwing

Redwing

 

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…so a visit to Woolley Firs yesterday was a much needed outing.

Just a small team of 3 Carl, Jason and myself turned out for this visit which ended up being split into 3 activities, firstly while the rain was still falling we did a recce for Yellowhammer over on the far edges of the farmland along the field margin, unfortunately we didn’t spot any however we did see a flock of Lapwing, Buzzard, Red Kite and Sparrowhawk all out looking for breakfast.

The rain subsided around 0930 so we turned our attentions to our second activity, netting back at the feeders near the main house. The bird activity was rather limited and we only caught 4 birds, the mild weather and empty bird feeders would have contributed to this. We packed the nets away at 1130

Activity 3 was the placement of more bird boxes, 2 boxes designed with Coal tit in mind placed just above the ground facing fir trees and with a top entrance, an open fronted box and 2 ‘tit’ boxes.

All in all a very enjoyable morning topped off with a pub lunch and a pint.

 

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…the way back from Rutland Birdfair 2011 on Sunday.

Buzzard over Leicestershire

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