Many thanks to David Norman and the BTO for spicing up our University training site ringing this winter with a new Blue Tit moult/survival project. For various reasons we didn’t manage as many visits as hoped for during the 2 months outlined for recording Blue Tit moult limits, November and February, but hopefully we got enough to make a useful contribution to this UK wide project.
Looking at the numbers of Blue, Coal and Great Tits ringed and retrapped during the sessions we were just glad Blue Tit was the target species and not Coal Tit (see graph). There were plenty of each in November but come February last session we caught no Coal Tits! We wondered if the large numbers in November were associated with a decent beech mast crop in the nearby beech trees in Seaton Park. By February perhaps the beech seed had run out and the large numbers had been forced to disperse in search of food.
Well done to our young athletes David Hunter, Chelsea Ward and Logan Johnson for achieving a good ratio of successful sprints to the mist-nets from distance (four out of six) to capture some of our larger visitors to the feeding station (see photos). We’re baiting a whoosh net site now for the doos.
|Buzzard. Photo by David Hunter|
|Stock dove and woodpigeon. Photo by Sarah Fenn|
A nice variety of species have been caught during the sessions.
|Bullfinch. Photo by Logan Johnson|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker. Photo by David Hunter|