The weather was as forecast yesterday. It was dry and wind speeds of 5-6mph. I had my nets up and ready to go for about 07.40am The first round was a blank but the second and third both produced just two birds. A slow start but potentially a good day.
This Redwing is bird number 4 in a week and the tape worked again but only the odd birds are being caught. I think there may be only a few Redwing about at the moment because other than the birds I have caught, I have not actually seen one. There are a number of Fieldfares on the common and the first flock I saw was about 2 weeks ago. The other birds today were Chaffinch and Blue Tit, 4 birds in total.
It would be about 08.45 when I forced to abort my ringing session for the day. I thought I was at a scrambling/trials bike meeting. There were four off road bikers that created so much noise and dirty smelly smoke it was unbelievable. One in particular had totally no consideration to even enquire if his activities conflicted with mine and kept running up and down on both sides of the Common in front of my nets rides. His bike chewed up the paths and you could see the dirt being sprayed up from the back wheel.
From my point of view I may not do any more ringing on a Sunday, and probably Saturdays and Bank Holidays if I experience a similar thing on these days. All my ringing has been done on weekdays and I seldom see anybody, the occasional tractor and that's it. We all have to share the Common land but wonder if the use of bikes that churn up the ground are actually allowed.
Anyway enough said about the morning ringing session. At about 9.00pm last night I decided I would have another try for Woodcock. It was frosty, the grass was crunchy and there was little wind and no rain. The worst possible condition to try and dazzle for Woodcock.
I just wanted to see really if there were more birds showing up. First field was barren but in the middle of the second field there was one bird. I crept up to it but I was about 12ft short before it decided it was time to go. As I entered the third field there was a second bird, again I crept up to it, got a little closer than the first and it flew off. I watched in my light as it turned around and came back towards me. It was that close I managed to catch it with my landing net. Talk about luck!
It was processed as an adult male, photographed and released.
I put it on the ground to release it and it stayed for about 10 seconds before flying off, so I managed to get this picture as well.