On 18th September, a group of volunteers certified by the British Trust for Ornithology returned to Millennium Wood to carry out mist netting. Mist netting is an important tool for monitoring species diversity, relative abundance and population size and is harmless to birds when carried out by trained professionals.
They processed 32 birds that morning, 31 new birds and a female great tit which the group first encountered as a newly fledged juvenile on 25th June this year. It was encouraging to see that it had survived so far.
Most of the birds the group processed were juvenile Blue or Great Tits hatched this year, but we also ringed 5 Long Tailed Tits (pictured on the left) and a Chiffchaff, hatched this year and presumably about to set off south on its first migration.
Chiffchaff travel from as far away as Africa where they overwinter (although some make southern Spain their winter home) to the UK to breed, taking advantage of long summer daylight hours and plentiful food supply to raise chicks. It was good to see this one which may have already travelled many miles from a more northern location.
Despite their best efforts, the volunteers failed to catch any juvenile green Woodpeckers in the nets. Back in June the group processed both an adult male and a female which were showing signs of breeding. They hoped to be able to prove that with a juvenile, and while green Woodpeckers were heard in the wood, they didn’t see any. They did see a Great Spotted Woodpecker as well as many Jays, but they didn’t get caught in their nets on this occasion.
The volunteers thanked for allowing them access to Millennium Wood and will return later in the year.