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Tedworth House: Thursday, 18th May 2017

Given the torrential rain on Wednesday, I postponed my monthly session at Tedworth to the Thursday. It was the usual smallish catch but we caught our first Starling for the site:

Starling Tedworth

This is the 35th species that we have caught and ringed at the site: putting it level in diversity with the number of species caught at the entire Ravensroost complex; one less than at Lower Moor Farm and two less than at Blakehill.  As Tedworth House is very much a work in progress, with a large wildlife pond scheduled for development this autumn and further thinning of the wood to open it up for more productive undergrowth, it will be interesting to see how this continues to develop.

The list for the session was: Great Spotted Woodpecker (1); Jay 1; Blue Tit 1; Great Tit 1(1); Coal Tit (1); Wren 1(1); Dunnock 1(4); Robin 1; Blackbird 1; Blackcap 2; Starling 1.  Totals: 10 birds ringed from nine species; eight birds retrapped from five species, making 18 birds processed from 11 species.

I was helped with the set up by Dave Turner and Gemma Clinch from the Wildlife Trust and joined later by Rob Hayden, with whom I ringed the Raven chicks on Good Friday.  Talking of which, the chicks are now enormous but still in and around the nest, constantly calling to their parents to feed them.  They cannot be long off fledging now: they certainly warrant the use of wide brimmed hats or an umbrella if you are walking anywhere near their cedar tree.

The session started off nicely, with a retrapped Great Spotted Woodpecker, ringed as an adult last year. This was followed by the Starling. Perhaps the best catch of the day was my first juvenile Dunnock of this year: freshly out of the nest.  Soon after we caught a female whose brood patch was showing the oedematous folds left after the blood vessels retreat to normal once the young fledge.  Finally, we caught a beautifully marked adult male Jay. As ever, we had an audience for the processing of the most attractive bird of the day.

Rob and Gemma helped me take down at the end of the session, for which I am grateful. ST/DT/GC/RH

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