Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Blimey, NOT Charlies's

Sarah, Brendan, Hannah and I had a go at netting Cross Inn today but with the ringed Shrike now clearly in our sights. 

With it being a nice sunny day the number of Redpolls on the feeders had dropped significantly and we managed a catch of exactly 50 birds including 6 retraps and a control. Luckily the control was the Great Grey Shrike!! 

A while back I splashed out on large cage trap from Zdenek Moudry the Czechoslovakian ringer extraordinaire. Not cheap but a brilliant and well-made trap that, with the aid of a box of locusts from Pets at Home, seemed to do the trick a treat! 

No animals were killed in the taking of this shrike (although a locust did succumb to injuries sustained in battle a short time afterwards!)

Seeing that the ring was a BTO ring I was pretty certain that it was going to prove to be one of the two birds ringed by Charlie Sargent in Carmarthenshire in November but on speaking to him on the mobile we were both amazed when it turns out it wasn't. 

(Sorry - not a lot of hand washing facilities in Cross Inn!!)

Calling in a few favours fast-tracked the system and it turns out it was ringed at Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory, Lincolnshire on 14th October 2014, presumably fresh in after a North Sea crossing.

Amazing, so maybe it did have a ring on a few months ago after all!  I wonder if this is the same individual that has been around for the last 6 years or so? It would have been great to have colour-ringed it so that we could see if it returns again next year but, despite having suitable rings on me, it would have been irresponsible without all the necessary permissions in place. Chances are if there's a ringed Great Grey Shrike in Cross Inn Forest next year it will be the same one - but then again!


  1. I'd say that trap has more than paid for it's self now :)

    1. You ain't wrong there! 1st bird it's ever caught too :-)

  2. I take it the trap is available on a daily rental :-) :-)

    1. As it has already paid for itself I'm sure an interest free loan could be secured - depends on who's asking and what for of course!


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