It's been a year and a day, to be precise, since we last ringed up at the Mausoleum. Our winter feeding sites have now come to an end and we can relax for a short while as the breeding season starts, oh so slowly.
We were on-site for 6am, it was slightly cool and very still. We had an amble around, erected a couple of 'regular' nets and searched for a couple of new runs. Rabbits were a prominent feature, seemingly much more so than last year.
The first Blackcap of the year was a welcome start to the day. Male Blackcaps have black 'caps', females and young birds are gingery brown. There were several males singing throughout the morning. Their song is a classic warble though to be honest it's not very distinctive when heard in the background. The alarm call however is much easier to point out to people, sounding like two pebbles being hit together, or as someone said to me yesterday, the noise of one of those kinetic steel balls that you see on desks.
|Male Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)|
A likely pair of Treecreepers, both caught in the same net together, were a nice find. The male was a retrap from last year which we were able to age at the time as having hatched in 2011. We were unable to 'sex' him at the time of first capture so today's recapture enabled us to add data on him. The female was a first year bird, hatched in 2012, with a brood patch indicating that she is currently brooding eggs. I've said it before on this blog but hey ho, we use the spots or teardrop pattern on the primary feather converts as an aid for ageing Treecreepers.
|Adult male Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)|
|Adult Treecreeper, male, (LEFT), 2nd calendar year Treecreeper, female (RIGHT).|
|Mobile phone panoramic, click for a larger view if tha' wants.|
05/05 Long-tailed Tit
01/00 Great Tit