21 September 2016

Big day at Nanjizal

It's not often the ringing group has a really busy day netting, but this morning was a bit of an exception. A small group of us headed to Nanjizal, with weather conditions looking good and lots of birds around locally. We weren't disappointed, and the first net round alone must have produced 150 birds! OK, so 50 of these were Meadow Pipits from a V of nets we'd set up, but many of the rest were Blackcaps.

Just one net, full of Blackcaps

We ended the busy morning on 248 new birds, including impressive totals of 96 Blackcap, 71 Meadow Pipit, 32 Chiffchaff and five Grasshopper Warbler. Add to that a scattering of common species and singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Firecrest, Grey Wagtail, Garden Warbler and Wryneck. Rather bizarrely, the Wryneck was in the Meadow Pipit nets, sat right out in the middle of a field!

Whilst we were all out an about, we took the chance to visit a few Barn Owl sites to check for  second broods. We didn't find any, but did have one box occupied by a ready-to-fledge Stock Dove. Interestingly, this is actually a much less frequently ringed bird in Cornwall than Wryneck; the last five years have seen seven Wrynecks ringed, but only four Stock Doves!


  1. Hi I have saved a baby stock dove and at night I bring him indoors, feed him then put him back outside in the morning in the box that I have made for him so that his parents can come by and feed him. There was two of them but one flew out of the box and we lost sight of him. He came back the following day when the parents returned to feed the one in the box and thankfully they fed him too. Sadly the next morning when I put the box back out there were feathers everywhere and no sign of the other baby :( The other baby has now grown and can fly a bit but I'm worried about letting him fly away in case he two gets attacked. What should I do? I'm happy to keep bringing him indoors, he now sits on our hands whilst I feed him! And the dog adores him!! But obviously he needs to be outside in the wild. How do I know that he is strong enough to survive? And where would he sleep at night? Would appreciate any advice! Karen

  2. I think the best thing to do with this bird is to let the parent birds feed it as normal, as keeping it overnight away from the box might cause the adults to desert it if they return to an empty box. In these situations it's always best to leave birds to their own devices if possible, just to ensure they receive the correct food and also the least disturbance. It's probably illegal to NOT release this bird as you're effectively taking a wild bird into captivity, so it'd be best to pop it back in the box as soon as possible and hope it fledges OK.