A visit this morning to Jerry and Barbara's woodland edge garden produced 72 birds of which 50 were new birds and 22 retraps. From late summer to this morning we have caught 501 birds of 21 species in 10 visits to the garden. Top of the pile is Blue Tit with 106 different individuals closely followed by Coal Tit with 90 then Great Tit with 60. These are individual birds so a bird caught several times is only counted once.It is nice to see Greenfinch making a come back we have ringed 53 so far this season double the numbers we ringed in the two previous seasons.By contrast Bullfinch are down with only four ringed compared to 28 last season, surprising for at another woodland feeding station ca 3 km away we have had a record year for Bullfinch. At the other end of the scale we have caught only four Starlings and two House Sparrows.
The woodland aspect of this well provisioned garden is reflected in the species we catch including 9 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 19 Nuthatch. The later is our main study species with all the birds we catch individually colour ringed and Jerry and Barbara record sightings as often as possible, they regularly record up to 5 or 6 different individuals in a session, but we only caught one today. This was first ringed 3 years and 330 days ago in January 2014. This was the 10th time we had re-trapped it but we have 255 sightings over the past almost 4 years. It is a male and for three years it came regularly to the feeders with its mate but she has now dissapeared.There is also another male sighted 3 years and 66 days after ringing, he also is a regular at the feeders. Of the 19 Nuthatch sighted. Seven are visiting regularly but the other 12 are quite irregular visitors.
Survivial though is interesting. Of the 18 Nuthatch recorded in the 2015/16 winter using sightings the survival rate was 50% using retraps it was only 23%.