Due to the weather we have only been able to get out for 3 ringing sessions at Bedfont Lakes so far this year – two at the main nature reserve (where we had several close sightings of a Bittern in flight!) and one at South Side the Sunday before last. This proved to be an exciting one for me as we caught the very first Reed bunting since I started last January; a lovely male! Not as smart as he will look come spring when his head and ‘mustache’ will darken to black, but still quite a looker!
I am used to seeing these guys at Kempton Nature Reserve where they happily feed on millet from a feeder strategically placed in the reeds. You can often see 10 – 12 at at time especially in winter which is a real pleasure.
However they are more of a rarity at Bedfont (I wonder why?) so this was a treat.
Another treat was this glorious Goldfinch! Also ringed at South Side. We often hear and see them around but rarely catch them in the mist nets, I think we have caught about 3 in the last year so this was lovely to see, especially one looking so smart! This was a male as you can see from the first photo the red mask extends back beyond the eye, where as in the females it generally stops. However this can be quite variable and there are other features to look for, though it’s not always clear cut as I have mentioned before in this post.