One of the new sites we have been netting this winter is Cross Inn Forest. I've had permission to ring Nightjars there for several years but have never really managed to find the time, especially given that I've being paid to catch them elsewhere! I have had a couple of trips but they have always been late in the season and with no success. Last year, having seen the potential of the site on these earlier visits, I applied to NRW for permission to carry out general, all-year-round, mist-netting and have been there on several occasions this winter. The main catch so far has been Goldcrest (in good numbers) but we have also caught a few thrushes, a fair few Bullfinch and a handful of Willow Tits. We have also put up a few feeders in an attempt to attract Redpolls and Siskins and this has just started to pay dividends with nearly 100 Redpolls present recently. Unfortunately wind and rain have so far put pay to any attempts at catching since the feeders went up.
Last weekend, whilst topping up the bird feeders, Brendan managed a couple of reasonable photos of the resident (in the winter anyway) Great Grey Shrike which we had been hoping might oblige and throw itself into a net one day. In the photos it can clearly be seen to be wearing a ring. The Shrike that was there in November definitely didn't have a ring on so where has this new one come from? Is it one of the two Charlie Sargent caught at his site in Carmarthenshire? (see http://birdringers.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/fygyn-common-new-site-new-nets-new.html) It's not a million miles away but the bird could quite equally have been ringed in its summer haunts. Unless we can read the number we will never know so there is going to be a bit of a re-doubled effort to catch this bird before it heads off in a few weeks time. I'll let you know if we are successful!