Sunday, 25 November 2012

Meeting The BTO At Martin Mere Bird Fair

I have just had one of the best experiences out of my birding life; the bird fair at Martin Mere. When I arrived I went to a hide called Kingfisher Hide where Andy and Brian were doing ringing demonstations. As you can see these are the nets that they put up.

Here are the rings and equipment they use.

The first catch of the day was a female Great Spotted Woodpecker. She really wasn't happy about being caught, but I can't say I blame her.

Just look at all the red on the back of it's tail.  The woodpecker was fitted with a size C ring, it's wings were measured and then it was weighed. 

I must say a really big thank you to Andy and Brian who showed me how to hold and release the birds.

Here is Brian passing me the woodpecker. I managed to avoid being pecked and got to see this wonderful bird up close.

I must admit this was the best experience. As brilliant as it was to see the bird close up, the bit I really enjoyed was letting it fly free again. 

I spent most of the day checking the nets with Andy, and helping both Andy and Brian ring, weigh and measure the birds.

There was an even more exciting catch than the woodpecker, but you will have to read about that later in the week. I have learnt so much today about telling the age of birds from they wings, but more about this in my next few blogs.

Hope your weekends were just as exciting.

Our World Tuesday


  1. very cool experience for you, findlay.

  2. What a great thing to do Findlay... and what a stunning bird to have had in your hands. I can't wait to read your next posts.

  3. Wow Findlay - what a brilliant day you had! I'm very envious!

    You asked some questions about finding owls in a comment to my blog. I have answered this in some detail (on the post). If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm no expert, but I'd be delighted to help if I can.

    Best wishes to you and the family.


  4. Looks like you had a great day out close and personal with birds Findlay. keep up the good work.

  5. Hi Findley, Very nice to meet you today, its good to meet someone so enthusiastic and keen. You only missed one bird. As Brian and I packed away the last bird into the net was a Redwing. This was a first for me. By checking the white marks on the Tertial feathers and checking the shape of the tail feathers we established it was a juvenile, then when measuring the wing length we found it could only possibly meet the female criteria. I will comment every now and again to let you know what we are doing. I love the blog. Take care. Andy

    1. Thank you for a brilliant day. I bet Brian was really pleased as he said all day he was hoping to get a Redwing. I have remembered the name of the woods you ring at, so I will come and see you there soon I hope. From Findlay

  6. Wow, sounds like a great day. I have been wanting to go to a bird banding too. It must be neat to hold the birds. Wonderful post, Findlay!

  7. What a great day you had Findlay - Gary and I have been there today, thank you so much for the lovely comment on my barn owl painting

  8. A very memorable experience Findlay. Seeing wild birds up close like that is an amazing experience.

  9. You sure had a great day and a memorable experience Findlay, as Sharon says we were also there in the afternoon, had a lovely wander around the book stands etc, and we froze in the Swan link hide for an hour or so. Lots of photos that I will hopefully get on later.

  10. What a wonderful day you had Findlay. It must have been amazing to see the birds so closely and help with the ringing etc. I have always been puzzled by why they don't die of fright when they are handled. Maybe you could ask one of the experts that when you speak to them again :-)

    I loved the photo of the Starlings feeding on the last post....and the one of Findlay feeding ;-)

  11. What a wonderful day indeed, Findlay!! I can just imagine how much fun it was and how much you enjoyed it! I love the pictures of of the birds! How neat to be able to hold the birds!! I do look forward to seeing more!! Thanks for sharing the fun!

  12. Great day!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  13. Sounds like a really great day and a very special way to learn about birds.

  14. that´s a great experience Findlay. Let it shine through your biding life. :)

  15. finger slip...should be "birding" of course.