Thursday, 15 April 2010

Nether Alderley Ringing demo

The farm open day seemed less well attended than last year, but we still had scores of interested children watching the tits fly off to freedom. 91 birds for Jake to process, so by the time he is 16 his total will be 3000+. There were few birds of note; the Bramblings had all gone, uncomfortable numbers of Chaffinches with 'bumble foot', a single Goldfinch, a couple of retrap Nuthatches, and the group's first Blackcap of the year. The Cheshire Wildlife Trust next to us even ran out of 'Bats', which led us to an image of their Chairman burning the midnight oil making more for next year.
There was even time to pose for a photocall. 'Look what the cat dragged in'.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Holy Grail

We were hoping to start our Dipper pullus ringing today, but the five eggs were deserted, leaving us to curse those wild life 'lovers' who have inflicted Mink on us. Now Dippers are lovely birds with a confiding nature, and they don't desert their nests especially with well developed embryos; something had had the female. We have had them taken by cats in the past but the abundance of Mink in our rivers is causing concern. We trudged forlornly back to the cars, when the kee-keeing started, followed by the undulating flight and my first ever sound of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker drumming. No consolation for the lost Dippers, but not bad. Will I live long enough to see another?
I doubt it. For the benefit of all you Cinclophiles, the second nest of 5 eggs and the female were fine.