This autumn has been an exceptional one for Goldcrest ringing in our area. I know that perhaps we haven't tried as hard or as regularly in the past but even so there do seem to be a hell of a lot around at the moment
First net round yesterday produced 25 in this net alone but they are
pretty small so hard to see!
So far this autumn we have ringed over 400 and yesterday, at a new site south of Aberystwyth, Andre and I managed a catch of 60 Goldcrest in 3 nets along with 18 Long-tailed Tit, 7 Bullfinch, 5 Coal Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Wren and a Woodcock!
One of the 60 Goldcrests caught yesterday. As is usually the case the vast majority were birds of the year. Not the best photo as the defining feature isn't visible!!
One of the two Willow Tits we also caught. These smart little birds have declined massively nationally but there still seem to be reasonable numbers in our local conifer plantations where there are lots of rotten tree stumps to nest in.
Although we obviously catch a lot of Woodcock each winter it is a long time since I saw one in a mist-net. As Andre has just qualified for his 'C' specific for winter wader dazzling he got to start his ringing notebook off with this as his first bird!
Andre kicks-off his 'dazzling' C permit in broad daylight!
This bird was aged as a juvenile based on the broad brown tips to the primary coverts and the rounded, rather than flattened, ends of the inner primaries.
And it posed briefly for a photo on release too!
As dusk was falling we noticed several hundred Redwing and Fieldfare heading into a dense bit of re-growth and quickly put up a couple of 40ft nets and played Redwing song on the tape-lures. Wasn't a massive hit but did catch 7 Redwing, a Fieldfare and a Blackbird to add to the day's catch. Six more Woodcock were seen flighting out of the cover too so seems good numbers have arrived back now.
Hoping to go back for a more dedicated effort at the thrush roost soon as there were a lot of birds present and they were definitely in a catchable site given a bit more time to set nets.