Monday, 2 November 2009

Colour-ringing robins for the BBC One Show

What an amazing morning!! After a late evening getting back from scuba diving training, it was an early start today to be on site in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, to catch and colour-ring robins for the BBC One Show and help promote the British Trust for Ornithology. While everyone was getting ready with the filming gear I was getting traps set and mist nets up with one of the researchers Sophie. It was a slow start and by 8am we still hadn't caught anything. Then, one robin went into a net in a garden followed by some great tits, a coal tit and a dunnock. The robin was successfully colour-ringed and filmed, with friend and presenter Mike Dilger. It was then released, ready for studying who's who in robin world of this neighbourhood. We then moved to another garden where a robin quickly became interested in robin song (we were playing) and a decoy, stuffed robin we had next to the CD player. The robin was right by the net, feeding under cover. In the end the decoy and some mealworms were just too tempting and the robin made a dash straight into the net. Robin number 2 was successfully colour-ringed and released. Before midday we caught another two robins which was brilliant, four robins in total - we return on Wednesday and Friday to catch some more. Eight colour-ringed individuals would be ideal for the neighbours to look out for and to build up a picture of what territories are where.

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