Saturday, 12 January 2013

Cooling Down

This morning me and Moxey were joined by James, who was coming out for his second session having previously visited us on Rimrose. It was pretty cool this morning but the overnight rain had kept the temperatures above freezing.....just! It was our first session at Crosby Hall for almost a month as we'd given it a 'rest' for a little while as we focused on other sites.

We used a total of five nets, two at the feeding station and three individual nets throughout the wood. There was clear evidence that there had been a shoot during the week - there were no pheasants apparent (not complaining about that!). The catch rate was relatively low this morning, with only thirty one birds being captured, however we did manage add our first Nuthatch's of the year and a further four Goldcrest.

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) with feather mites - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Adult male Blackbird (Turdus merula) - the redish colouration in the beak an eye ring is common at Crosby Hall in December/January. We believe this is due to their tendency to feed on the berries from the Yew tree. 

I sometimes get asked from time to time about how we can tell the age and sex of different species. In the photograph below, you can see how we determine the sex of Goldcrests (Regulus regulus). The male is on the right and the female is on the left - we move the feathers on the crown to check for the presence of orange feathers that are only present in the male. During the breeding season, the male will sing to attract the female as well as 'puff up' his crown to make himself look as attractive as possible.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) - Female (left) and male (right)

L.T.Tit -   3   (5)
Goldcrest -   4
Chaffinch -   2
Robin -   2   (1)
Great Tit -   1   (2)
Coal Tit -   1
Blue Tit -   4   (2)
Nuthatch -   2
Blackbird -   1   (1)

TOTAL:   20   (11)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete. You should do a little article for BB or Birding World on the red billed/eye-ringed blackbirds, that's pretty amazing!