High Pennard: 16 June. Ere its nothing to crow about.

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A poor forecast, so we decided against Oxwich and headed to High Pennard, a far more sheltered site. The weather was in fact far worse than had been predicted the night before, with periods of light rain and the odd heavy shower.

We restricted ourselves to one sixty foot net that we opened and closed on numerous occasions over the morning. The net was placed on the top of a bank on the edge of a garden. The low tree branches above it appear to channel birds through the net ride.

Species Name
Ringed
Recaptured
Total
Blackbird
2
2
Blue Tit
1
1
2
Bullfinch
7
4
11
Carrion Crow
2
2
Chaffinch
1
1
Dunnock
1
1
Goldfinch
2
5
7
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1
1
Great Tit
3
3
6
Jackdaw
1
1
Nuthatch
1
1
2
Robin
4
1
5
Wren
1
1
Grand Total
25
17
42

The highlights of the session were:

  • A day total of eleven bullfinches, all of which were adult birds. We have captured 25 unique bullfinches at the site in 2019. It is the most obvious passerine on the edge of the adjacent coastal cliffs, which are shrouded by dense and broken scrub that grades into ancient semi-natural woodland in the valley below.
  • Two carrion crows. One was a female with a brood patch, the other went unsexed. Both were in main moult.
  • A jackdaw. Our second of the year. We considered it to be an adult based on iris and tail feather shape.
  • A young nuthatch. Our first of the year. We also recaptured an adult female.
The crows were novel. We had previously ringed a total of 1 between us. They remained calm in the hand, but took the opportunity to inflict pain when it presented itself. Their claws were very painful, but the beaks were more so. A few moments of amusement were provided when Richard took his eye off the crow he was holding, which craned its neck in order to grab his ear. Having taken a reasonable chunk out of it, the crow reverted to quietly plotting. Richard was shown the appropriate level of deep sympathy. A small gristly piece of ear remained in the end of the bill of the crow up until the point we released it.
A small team, reflecting the fact that the visit was organised last minute and that a large proportion of the group are in the middle of CES and RAS projects.
Thanks to Val Wilson, Richard Dann, Sarah Davies and Miguel Lurgi for company and assistance.
Photos by Richard are below.
Owain Gabb
18/06/2019
Crow 2 (note the small piece of ear in the end of the bill).

Crow 1

Jackdaw

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