Nipped into the reserve yesterday morning and managed to jam into another yeartick. As I drove down the access road there was a group of geese and swans in the adjacent field. Stopped to check for whoopers (still need them) but only mutes were on view. As I was leaving I bumped into Jim and had a chat about what was about. Nothing on great interest until he said there were 6 whoopers in the field! A quick dash to the hedge and 3 adults and 3 juvs (208) were added to the list. They were feeding in a small hollow which I couldn't see from the car. News of 32 barnacle geese and a possible hooded crow could have swelled the list further.
With the freeze finally giving up, we were about to get out ringing this morning. Finally the new birds have all but ended (only 17) but the numbers of birds caught was still impressive. A final figure of 90 re-traps and the 17 new was amazing. Highlights were 2 goldcrest, nuthatch, woodcock (at least 8 other flushed) and a flyover waxwing.
When I got home I decided to open my nets for the first time in weeks. There wasn't a great deal about but as there was a load of gulls about again I decided to give them a go. A slice of bread later and I had 2 ringing ticks! Single 1st winter black-headed and common gulls blundered into the nets. After a lot of scratching and pecking, both flew of with shiny new 'E' rings.
Black-headed and common gulls