Tuesday morning started at 6.00 a.m. for me. Came down to beautiful brilliant moonlight streaking through the rooms. Wonderful. The day was to turn out beautifully sunny as well. That's a real change over recent days!
The day started to unfurl at 7.30 a.m. when a Bird Ringer (David) arrived to start catching and ringing birds in my garden, with the emphasis on Ring-necked Parakeets (RNPs). Why? I hear you ask.
BBC2 are making a new nature programme series (The Top 40 British Wildlife Spectacles) - anticipated to be screened in late March/April, which is to include a section on RNPs. Getting as many as I do, my garden was the location for filming as part of the programme is to include the caputuring and ringing of them. David is a fully licensed ringer and and also rings for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
By 8.00 a.m. my non-feathered visitors were David and his daughter Charlotte who is also a ringer, Joe the camerman (who has a wicked sense of humour and prefers being behind the camera than in front of it), Jenny Craddock the producer (who directed us all very well with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes) and Sanjida O'Connell presenter (who was looking as lovely as ever and so easy to be with). I'm sure watchers of Nature's Calendar will be very familiar with Sanjida.
A 10ft high very fine mesh net was stretched down part of the length of the garden. Apart from the supporting poles and guy ropes it was difficult to see it once in place.
Two of the first captures were Blue Tits - they are even more cute when seen close to. A Feral Pigeon flew into the net - and bounced off! Apparently this is what they do. One of the Ring-necked Parakeets managed to fly straight through the net - leaving a hole in its wake!
During the course of filming the list of birds captured, measured, weighed and ringed was:
Ring-necked Parakeets = 4 (all females)
Robins = 2
Blue Tits = 4
Starling = 1
Greenfinch = 1
Goldfinches = 11
All of these were mature birds.
My grandson, who had been staying overnight with me, was absolutely fascinated by all the goings on. He would much rather have stayed to continue watching but sadly leaving for School prevented this. David very kindly brought a goldfinch and robin for him to see. It was fascinating to see birds so close to and my Grandson was delighted. I'm quietly pleased that he takes so much interest in wildlife.
I feel very priviledged to have witnessed the filming and to have observed the ringing of birds in my back garden.
It was a very entertaining, educative and fun filled morning in very good company. So my thanks to all involved.
With so much going on it wasn't possible for me to take many pictures but here are a few.
The "team", from left to right:
Joe, Jenny, Charlotte, David, Sanjida
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