17th March 2017 - Marlborough Downs
What finer way to spend your birthday than ring Tree Sparrows at one of the biggest Tree Sparrow sites on the Marlborough Downs. This site is an expansive garden with lots of feeders. The aim of today was to fit more Tree Sparrows with PIT tags to enable us to identify the individuals using each box and to learn more about pair relationships. We were pretty successful fitting PIT tags to 19 birds. The retrap Tree Sparrows mostly originated from the same site but the furthest movement was of 9km and the oldest bird was two years old. All of these retrap histories build up the picture that enables us to target our conservation efforts for Tree Sparrows.
Surprise of the day was a Mistle Thrush which as it turns out is the first adult Mistle Thrush we have ringed since 2004. Mistle Thrushes frequent open parkland and so generally are associated with sites that are not good for ringing which is why we do not catch them. Gary was the lucky chap to ring this bird because none of the more experienced team members were present. After this initial work we then spent the rest of the day refurbishing and putting up nest boxes across the downs. MP, GH
Tree Sparrow 4 (17), House Sparrow 5 (2), Mistle Thrush 1, Song Thrush 1, Stock Dove 1, Chaffinch 7 (4), Goldfinch 14, Greenfinch 2, Dunnock 6 (1), Robin 2 (2), Wren 4, Blackbird 2 (1), Goldcrest 1 (1), Blue Tit 1 (2), Great Tit 2 (1)