A round up of our bird ringing activities (all birds ringed under licence from the British Trust for Ornithology with schedule one authority where appropriate), birding trips and other wildlife sorties within the UK and whenever we get chance, elsewhere.
A non-working day on the site provided a chance for us to work an area of weedy scrub that we normally avoid due to HGV movements. A total of 65m of nets in this area, plus a 12m in the reed bed gave us a good return for the morning.
A first House Sparrow for the site was an added bonus.
It's a long time since we've been ringing (Gambia project, early February), and we haven't ringed at any of our sites in the UK since December 2019. Today we were finally able to get out to ring after the BTO cessation of bird monitoring during the English lockdown was lifted. It is now possible to travel for exercise and as long as social distancing is respected (not a problem for us being from the same household) ringing is possible. We are fortunate that this is not a site managed by either English Nature or the Forestry Commission as sites under their jurisdiction remain closed, while we have been given the go ahead to start monitoring by Brett.
We had been to Stanwell Moor two days before to see what the site. We are quite used to finding that things have changed after a few weeks away, but were not expecting to find that our best net ride, a ride that could contribute 50 birds over the course of a morning is no more.
The track net as it was when we were there last year.
Now a bank devoid of vegetation.
So this is the downside of ringing on a commercial site. The reed bed is also problematic as the dry runs are still underwater. The sides have not yet closed in but waders would be needed to clear the new shoots growing up in the usually cleared area. The willows are also thicker and taller every year.
Reed bed dry run.
With the reedbed too wet to net in and the track net gone, we had had to set about looking for somewhere else to go. We found a promising spot and had 5 nets up today with a further 3 in a place where we've netted before. All in all, the results weren't too bad.