Run-up to Christmas – a spot of bird-ringing

On 22 December I took the opportunity to join my daughter on one of her regular weekend ringing sessions near Bristol. It was – very – wet and muddy – hence wellingtons and stick. The bad weather meant only a few birds had been found in the traps, and these are being taken back to the ringing station in cloth bags

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As you can see, J is a bit younger than your average bird-ringer, but I confirm the group to be friendly, quietly enthusiastic, and welcoming

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Some items from the bird ringers’ toolbox

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Information is lovingly logged, both in hard copy, and electronically. There is something here to satisfy both the scientist, and the collector

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Each bird is ringed, inspected, measured, and logged. It’s important to apply the ring sooner rather than later, because if the bird does manage to escape at this stage, it has at least been ringed

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Identifying all relevant features is open to quite a bit of interpretation, and this is where experience comes in. For example this blackbird could have been a young male, or an older female. Our blackbird is receiving a further examination

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My first moorhen. Muddy wellies are far from normal either !

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My verdict ? A great way to spend a Saturday morning. Lots of boxes ticked. Inexpensive, good crowd, recording, seeing birds right up close, doing something a bit different, some observational science, contributing to something bigger, learning a craft. I’m perhaps too busy to add this to my routine, but in a few years’ time…

My daughter’s blog ncludes pictures and posts on ringing.

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