First control for the garden

For two Sunday's running, Mark and I have been ringing in the garden and managed to trap lots of Lesser Redpolls. Last weekend we got 15 new birds and 3 retraps. Today it was 16 new birds and another three retraps including a bird not ringed here - a 'control'. The first thing I noticed was that the ring was upside down to the way we normally ring (though I have been known to get them wrong!). Mark checked his numbers and we then knew it was someone else's. So we're now looking forward to finding out where it's come from.

Interestingly enough, two of the retraps were adults trapped when we had the Mealy Redpolls here in January 2011 - so into their fourth winter at least.

We also trapped a few Goldfinches and other commoner birds whilst Siskins came down for the first time this year including a tantalising ringed bird that we're sure would have been another 'control'. A pair of Nuthatches fed in the trees but bounced out of the net, only my third garden record though there is a resident pair now at nearby Cut Wood.

I did my WeBS count at the Reservoir yesterday but there was little to write home about. The flock of Tufties are still there as well as a couple of Goosander and Great Crested Grebes. Maybe we'll get further afield next weekend.

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