The last bank holiday of the summer and it seems in keeping with the summer in general it was grey and overcast. The rain however seemed to be holding off and while it was grey it was warm enough for t-shirts and there was little wind. Perfect conditions in fact for ringing. As part of the local RSPB and NWT Wild about Brecks event the BTO was running a ringing demo in the grounds of the Nunnery. Nets hidden amongst the tall trees of the woodland surrounding the grounds we brought birds back to a little gazebo stationed outside the main building that had been converted into the BTO HQ. Around us through the grounds are gazebos and stalls of other conservation charities and partnerships promoting wildlife and sustainability in the Breckland area. In the long grass of the meadow kids ran swishing little nets in front of them gathering bugs and insects to be identified and in a secret corner pond dipping was revealing aquatic wildlife.
|The ringing demo all ready to go|
Throughout the day a steady stream of birds were brought to our ringing station, where the usual process of ringing, aging, sexing and measuring was completed for each. The main difference between this and a normal ringing session being that there was generally a small crowd of people, especially kids, gathered around us watching, listening and asking questions. It was a perfect opportunity to show them birds up close, many of whom had never seen a bird this close before. It was also a chance to explain the process and benefits of ringing. From young blue tits to young goldfinch, with a few robins, blackcaps, treecreepers and wrens, and added interest of blackbird, marsh, coal tit and cliff chaff, there were plenty of birds to keep us busy and the crowds entertained.
|One of the many blue tits|
In total 162 birds were processed with the rain only arriving once the last bird had been taken for the nets. One particular little Robyn took it all in her rather sleepy stride.
|Me and my little Robyn|