Finches galore as garden ringing session breaks three figures

A close eye on the forecast and a gap in my work schedule meant that today was to be another ringing day in the back garden with Mark Breaks. Mark arrived at 7:20 and by 8 we had all the nets up and were busy taking in the first four Blue Tits from the top nets. No sooner had we processed these - all retraps - we could see the bottom net was burgeoning. As we opened the shed door, the top one was getting quite heavily populated too! A Grey Wagtail was calling repeatedly but never came near to the net area.

We hastily emptied the net of the first catch that was of more Blue Tits along with lots of Chaffinches and Goldfinches. The odd Greenfinch was caught as well, a far cry from previous winters, and of course several Bullfinches old and new. We nearly ran out of bags so we processed this first full batch as quickly as we could. Twenty five minutes later, they were all done so it was out for the next round and we had just as many including the first Lesser Redpoll of the winter - an adult male.
Adult male Lesser Redpoll
Rounded tail feathers indicate an adult bird
A flock of twelve Long-tailed Tits fed on the peanuts just outside the shed but only one decided to present itself in one of the nets. More Birds followed including several House Sparrows, lots of Great Tits, more Coal Tits and a Collared Dove.
Long-tailed Tit
Male Greenfinch
Garden ringing tick - Collared Dove
We trapped 105 birds including 38 re-traps during the morning. A really splendid total of 20 goldfinches and still only ever had 1 re-trap. The Wren was the only one we've ever trapped before - last winter.


Full grown
Retraps
Total
Collared Dove
1
0
1
Wren
0
1
1
Dunnock
2
2
4
Robin
1
0
1
Long-tailed Tit
1
1
2
Coal Tit
3
2
5
Blue Tit
8
17
25
Great Tit
6
9
15
House Sparrow
6
1
7
Chaffinch
11
1
12
Greenfinch
5
0
5
Goldfinch
20
0
20
Lesser Redpoll
1
0
1
Bullfinch
2
4
6
Total:
67
38
105

We finished around 1:15 to allow the birds to get some feeding time. A pair of Ravens had passed overhead whilst we had lunch. I headed off to Rishton Reservoir in the afternoon where the water is now only a couple of feet from the overflow but there were just a few Canada Geese, Mallard and several Black-headed Gulls, along with a couple of Common Gulls, Greater Black-backs and Herring Gulls. A female Grey Wagtail fed on the shore but there was little else. However this-evening, I could see lots of Gulls dropping in from the tip before heading off to the Guide roost - hundreds of birds made their way over my house this-evening

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