Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Autumn Ringing

My first Common Crossbill ringed in Lothian.

It was down in Thetford Forest that I had first ringed Crossbill....that was nearly 6 years ago.

Having finished our CES visits for this year and recently gained permission to carry out ringing on a local estate, I thought I'd have a look to see if there are any Crossbills around a certain part of the estate, I have seen them here frequently while surveying in the past.

After a few hours over a few days of watching in various locations I was able to pin point where they were feeding and drinking, I finally decided on a area where they seemed to come down from the tree tops to a small ditch which they used regularly for a drink. I proceeded to set up 2 x 12m, 3 panel nets along the ditch line from where they had been drinking. I counted 18 altogether feeding on the pine cones above where I had set the nets, a lovely mix of male & females, the sun shining on the males made their stunning distinctive brick red plumage stand out amongst the greenish-brown females.

After an hour of having the nets set up and regularly checking them, I then noticed a bird in one of the nets, there it was, my first Common Crossbill ringed in Lothian, although I was slightly disappointed it wasn't a male I was very grateful that after all the hours I had spent watching them, I eventually managed to catch one.

Looking at the annual ringing records for Common Crossbill across Britain and Ireland in 2015,  a total of 82 were ringed, it's certainly been along time since any were ringed in the Lothian's.

Female Common Crossbill (W.E)

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