Dave Francis presided over a ringing session at the main Pitsford Res feeding station yesterday afternoon and again this morning. The benefits to some birds of maintaining a feed station is best assessed when we can actually work out how many birds are using it. Visually we can count the numbers we see at any one time but have no idea of the total number requiring sustenance. Dave caught 32 new Yellowhammers during the Saturday/Sunday session, and another 10 were caught on Friday morning. Add the retraps and another 150 or so Yellowhammers caught at this one spot during the year and I think we can begin to understand how such a project benefits a local population. In some areas Yellowhammers are really struggling so its just great to enhance their status in central Northants.
Other birds trapped and monitored yesterday afternoon and this morning included another 4 new Bramblings, 14 Goldfinches, 5 Tree Sparrows (plus a controlled bird from elsewhere), 4 Reed Buntings, a Fieldfare and a Moorhen. However my favourite bird of the session was a single Snipe that was flushed in to a net. I'm a big fan of the bird species that endeavour to utilise their plumage to hide from would-be predators, and it is an incredible privilege to be able to be so close to a crepuscular species such as a Snipe (please see the below images).
This afternoon there were two Barn Owls hunting at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell.