I have been down at my Grandmas all last week as it's our school holidays. It was a good week - but that's for another blog. Dad picked me up on Friday night and it was early to bed, as on Saturday I was able to go ringing again.
It was a calm, cloudy morning, so good conditions for ringing; however the session started off quite slow with us not catching many birds apart from a few tit mice, a few Redpoll and a Chiffchaff. A buzzard and a Kestrel were seen overhead on a number of occasions and watched them swoop and hover.
After a couple of net rounds the bird numbers started to pick up a bit, catching two rather nice re-trap male and female Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and a re-trap Nuthatch.
Birds such as woodpeckers eyes change colour generally to a more red colour as they get older - I wonder why that happens ? This picture doesn't show it that well but the iris was becoming a bit more reddish.
We were also delighted to catch this stunning male Yellow Hammer, this was the first one of the year, so it was quite exciting to catch. They are from the bunting family and I think they used to be called Yellow Buntings ?
Towards the end of the session, we all saw a rather large bird in the bottom pocket of one of our single nets. Peter went down to have a look and found it was a stunning Kestrel, perhaps this was the one we saw earlier in the morning
No words needed here as I think the pictures say it all.
This particular bird was an adult male, we could tell this because of its size and the grey colour of it's head. It weighed 196 grams.
As you can see in this picture, I was pretty nervous (but confident) handling this stunning bird of prey. It was really amazing to have the privilege of holding it, but remember the joy of holding it comes only after respecting the bird.
I certainly didn't expect to end the day with a Kestrel.
It's another busy week coming up and I am hoping to meet some of my younger blogging friends at a birding conference this week.