Today started early but not so bright unfortunately. 6am and we’re heading off to Titchfield Haven for an early morning bird ringing session. This was my very first proper bird ringing session, where I got to ring a selection of birds. My first was a Robin followed by a Song Thrush, Black Cap, Cetti’s Warbler and a Chiffchaff. It was a great insight into the world of bird ringing which felt much like the first time I looked in on someone going through a moth trap – Everyone using mind boggling terms and pointing out little details that mere mortals seldom see. However it’s a whole lot more technical than a simple moth trap. Not only do birds look very different up close in the hand but their sex, age, weight, fat score, condition and wing length all had to be noted. There were many nuggets of information going around not just relating to the ringing process itself but about bird behaviour and migration. I was busy trying my best to be an information sponge but it was a lot to take in but very enjoyable. Hopefully I’ll be allowed back even though I did have a Long Tailed Tit escape through my fingers…….
Just as it started to rain, it was time to scamper off to Swanwick Lakes where I was meeting up with some volunteers for a day of something I’m far more familiar with – chainsaw work. We were working on clearing some trees out of north east meadow. There is lots of grass starting to creep into the three wooded copses in this area so we’re keen to carry on felling the smaller scrabbley poley oak trees to allow the grassland to expand and give the other oaks space to develop. Even though it turned into a hideously wet day we got a fair amount done. I think everyone was left hoping our next weekend work party won’t be quite as wet.