I had to pick Silvia up from Luton airport on Friday so we decided to stay at my sisters in southwest London again. As my 3 nephews (aged 3,5 and 8) love it when we catch birds with them, I took my ringing kit with me. Normally when we mist net here, we catch the usual garden birds plus the odd corvid but never the brightly coloured Parakeets that regularly visit the feeders. It was looking like this was going to be the case again until Sunday afternoon when one decided to get caught in the mist net. Despite knowing their reputation for being a bit nippy with their powerful beaks, I quickly rushed outside and extracted it. Looking back it might have been useful to put some gloves on, but I'd seen a few escape on previous visits!! Needless to say it took several chunks of my skin, but worth it nevertheless. They are actually quite tricky to ring without getting bitten, but it's all very good learning. Only an hour or so after, a second Parakeet flew into the net. This time I managed to extract it with out being attacked as much.
Despite catching the 2 Ring-necked Parakeets, the star of the weekend was undoubtedly this very smart male Sparrowhawk, a species that I could never get bored of ringing!
All in all, another productive trip, with around 60 birds trapped and ringed, all adding to the bigger picture of the wildlife that visits my sister's amazing urban garden.