This morning a ringing session was undertaken at the feeding station at Pitsford Reservoir, on the Old Scaldwell Road site. Although cool first thing the spring-like weather continued for the remainder of the day, the calm conditions being ideal for using mist nets.
Some 70 birds were caught coming to the food which involved many new birds including 22 Tree Sparrows, 17 Yellowhammers and 18 Reed Buntings. A Willow Tit was a retrap; this individual which is a couple of years old now regularly comes up from the back of the Scaldwell Bay, following the field hedge parallel to the reservoir boundary fence.
Although the ringing has been very infrequent during this calendar year (due to the weather), we can already account for 90 different Yellowhammers and 27 different Reed Buntings visiting the broadcast seed during January and February, and the true figure for both species will obviously be higher than this.
Birds of note were few and far between today, with at least a single each of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin in the Walgrave Bay at Pitsford, and a Raven and a couple of Lesser Redpolls at Kelmarsh Hall. The turn in the weather the last few days has enticed local Little Owls to vocalise, and the Tawny Owls (which should already have established territories by now) have become more persistent with their calling too. The Grey Herons are currently very noisy around the heronry at Pitsford as they sort out their early nesting arrangements, and about six pairs of Cormorants have already patched up their nests and could even have early eggs.