Sunday 21 November 2010
Home Cottage Farm, Iver Heath - 21 Nov 2010
Due to the slightly breezy conditions we decided to give Home Cottage Farm a try. The farm is a mixed fruit farm, mainly pick your own and can get a good gathering of winter Thrushes. Unfortunately the weather was too mild and despite some fields having had large crops of fruit, with many apples still on the trees and even more on the ground, only one Fieldfare was seen. Despite this we caught 86 birds with 11 re-traps, one being a Blue Tit rung in the garden by Denise the day before. New birds were Blue Tit (68), Great Tit (4), Long-tailed Tit (1), Goldcrest (1) and Blackbird (1). Catching was slow apart from the 74 Tits in the net at once, mostly Blue, an exercise hopefully not to repeated too often again. Whilst extracting large catches of Warblers is a delight, taking out some many Blue Tits that grab every bit of the net they can and want to take every opportunity to peck you was an experience. Thankfully we had the assistance of Helen from the ringing group.
Later we met up with Vic and Emma, plus Gavin at Stanwell Moor to give the Starling roost a try, which we were not sure was a good idea after the 74 Tits earlier, but always one for punishment we gave it a try, but unfortunate the roost is quite mobile, either due to weather conditions or the harassment from the local Sparrowhawk, and tonight only about 20 came in instead of the usual 400 odd, resulting in a nil catch..