Sunday, 13 January 2013

D is for Jay

Today I have been lucky to be ringing again with the Scouse Ringer 

When I arrived at my ringing destination,  Daniel ( another trainee ) had already got there so we decided to walk up to the nets together. We were also looking for Peter (Scouse Ringer) at the same time, but we couldn't find him. Since we couldn't find him we waited by a sign where the path starts to split up. When he got to us, he seemed quite pleased when I told him we already had seven Redpoll and a solitary Blackbird. When we finished setting up the table and chairs and everything like that, we did a net round; the first net had 16 Lesser Redpoll (3 already ringed), a Long Tailed Tit, a few Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, plenty of Blackbirds and quite a few others. The next net across the field brought us Chaffinches and Greenfinches. Moving on to the net where the feeding station had been destroyed by squirrels, we found a Jay and a few Chaffinches. The last net wasn't that busy apart from a Blackbird, a Long Tailed Tit and a Blue Tit (unfortunately no Gold Crest). 

When we got the birds back to ring, there were that many, we got stuck in straight away,  I rung one Redpoll and helped process the others, which means saying how old it is and reading out the ring number. I processed this male Lesser Redpoll. They are lovely birds.

Here Daniel is ageing a Redpoll using the tail feathers.

This is Peter and Daniel comparing the male and female Lesser Redpoll. The males have a much brighter red head top, the chest has much more red on as well.

In the end we ended up catching 2 Jays which is a great start to the year. Even though they look delicate birds when they fly, they are actually very fiesty.  

Me and Dan rung one each, but it wasn't an easy task.  The Jay takes a size D ring.

We are probably a least 50 times as big as these birds, however I was a bit wary!!!!!!!!! The most unpredictable bird I've ever held any way.

They are difficult to handle especially when they are squawking and attempting to eat your fingers. I just want to say a quick thank you to my dad for taking these splendid pictures.

Since this was an adult Blackbird it was quite big, so I had to use 2 hands.

If you look at this adult Blackbirds beak you can see it has grey/black markings on it, so there is a possibility that this bird isn't from the UK.

One of the last birds we got out of the net was a re-trap male Bullfinch. 

A 2013 first for me.

Greenfinches were everywhere today , so I got loads of help from Peter with the ages of the bird and how to tell if it's a male or a female.

Here I am looking at the tail feathers to see if it was a male or a female.

Peter is comparing the male and the female bird to me here.

This male Chaffinch wings were getting explained to me here to see if it was a adult or juvenile; it is much harder to tell the age if it is a female bird.

This is a Dunnock, a member of the accentor family, lovely birds.

Meet Canela (cinnamon in Portuguese I think) - the brains of the operation. 

Another totally brilliant day and lots more learnt.


  1. Your Dad did a great job with those pictures, and you've done a great job putting this post together.
    Your enthusiasm really shines through.
    What a beauty that Jay is; and Canela.

  2. Great Blog post Findlay, sounds like another fantastic day!

  3. you're getting such great experience and exposure to these birds.

  4. you are certainly living the dream Findlay, a superb day for you, well done!

  5. Great post Findlay, you're obviously enjoying your birding to the full, long may it last...[;o)

  6. Te vas hacer todo un experto en aves como sigas asi.Saludos

  7. WOW - what a great day you had there.

    Much better than sitting indoors playing computer games all day I bet.

    Keep up the good work...and don't forget your school work!

    And a big thumbs up (but well out of the way of the Jay's beak!) to Scouse Ringer for letting you get up close and personal with the birds.



  8. Nice post especially the bit about Blackbirds bill and the colours.

  9. That has to have been one of the most exciting days ever, Findlay! A wonderful account of your day, and congratulations to your dad for the photos, which I reckon you'll both treasure for the rest of your days.

  10. Cute birds, perfect post for WBW!

  11. Great photos and it sounds like a most interesting day.

  12. Findlay this is a wonderful experience for you taking part in the ringing projects. You will gather so much knowledge on your local birds this way, and good on your Dad getting you there and taking those great photos too; I really enjoyed seeing what you're doing

  13. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  14. you are a lucky guy, you know. I´ve only seen a ringing once. :(

  15. Wow, a great day Findlay! I didn't realise the redpolls are so small.

  16. Great and interesting post. I like it.
    I also invite you to my blog. ;)
    Yours. Have a nice day.
    You can also find me on the fanpage and keep track of my work: ;]

  17. Great post, Findlay! I amazed at how well you did holding the birds for banding. I would be a nervous wreck. Thanks for sharing this experience! Happy Birding!

  18. GREAT POST!!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Awesome pics love your dog too. Although I dont think I could tag a bird it would make me nervous lol

  20. Lovely pics of what looks to be a fun day!

  21. A wonderful post Findlay... and great pics of it by your Dad.

  22. Wow, I am totally envious Findlay! What a fabulous day ringing and learning about birds! I have only held one bird, an American Kestrel, while ringing. Very cool!

  23. How wonderful, learning to do this task at such a young age. I have only gotten to see Hummingbirds being worked with like this. Love his red hair too. Those birds are lovely and look so large in his little hands. Well done~

  24. Great post! Keep up with the ringing - its a great way to see birds! And if you get the chance you should try to get involved with so wader ringing as well!

    Thanks for the link to WBW.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

    PS: sorry for slow reply - I been out of internet range in Tasmania!

  25. Thank you for sharing your experience! How wonderful to be learning such details! Beautiful birds, all.