On my previous ringing session blog #10 I was helping to catch Jack Snipe to be ringed, ever since I have been emailing Iain Livingston to check when he would be going ringing. He said on Saturday that he would be ringing at Strathclyde and I was welcome to come and help!
It was an early start to be up at 6:00am and leaving the house at 6:30 to be there nice and early to set up the mist nets. Mist nets are nets which are setup from near ground level to quite high up and then passerine Birds like Tits, Finches, Sparrows, Wrens, Robins and most other small birds fly into them and get trapped without any injury! Then every 10-15 mins they get checked and the birds are taken out and ringed. When they have been ringed and a few measurements are taken, they are released again. The rings, which fit onto the birds legs, are small and do not harm the bird. They are simply to gain information on birds, for example if one was photographed or recaptured in a country again, then it would be looked up in the database and the information can be added which helps with recording its lifespan, where it travels, the size they grow to etc.
There were four of us in total, Iain, Liam, my dad and me. Whilst we were walking to the ringing site location, in the river we saw an otter swimming around which was a great spot from Iain and so satisfying. When we got to the site Iain and Liam set up the nets whilst we learned. We all went round every 10-15 mins to check the nets to ring the captured birds which were all released again without harm.
Throughout the time there we caught around 10 different species including; Treecreeper, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Reed Bunting and Dunnock.
We stayed until lunchtime before it became quite and not much was caught again. But 2 herons were regularly flying over and an amazing number of over 6 orange tip butterflies were fluttering about for most of the time.
I can’t wait until the next ringing session!