14th June. Ring Ding

Since first starting birding some 25 years ago I have always fancied taking up ringing. Having recently drawn a blank with the BTO I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen at least for the forceable future. Fortunately I bumped into one of the Sorby Breck Ringing Group a few weeks ago and blagged my way in as a trainee ringer.

My first session began this morning at 6am at Williamthorpe Nature Reserve. By 10am I had rung no less than 11 individuals, namely: Linnet (my first victim) 3 Blackbirds, 3 Dunnocks, 2 Whitethroats, Long-tailed Tit and a spanking drake Bullfinch. To my amazement I was not only allowed to slip the rings on but could actually put my hand in the bag and remove them. By the time we packed up I was well and truly hooked and had enjoyed a very rewarding day.

4 comments:

John Hague said...

Would a male Bullfinch be known as a drake?

I'm not altogether sure how I feel about ringing, I can see some merit in it for tracking and scientific purposes but I do feel there is too much vanity in it sometimes with ringers targeting 'ticks'.

Mark said...

Drake. Absolutely. From memory the use of drake was first pioneered by Steve Whitehouse in the early nineties during a conversation with Rob where he described a Male Paliid Harrier as a 'drake'.

Mark said...

I've always had mixed feelings about ringing. Yes it would be easy to get carried away and create a ringing list and that might even happen. I suppose the real test will be Shetland October 2009.

Andy Mackay said...

I don't know where it came from originally, but we were using 'drake' for any male bird before that. I certainly remember Jeff Higgott using it when we used to ring at Swithland Res in the mid 80s.