On October 5th London Wildlife Trust and BTO arrived onsite for sunrise to hold the first ever ringing demonstration and consultation at Walthamstow Wetlands. It turned out to be a fantastic day with 208 passerines and one rather large and unexpected bird also ringed.
As with most ringing days, the bulk of the catch was made of the more commoner species such as blue tits and great tits with chiffchaff, long-tailed tit and goldcrest also coming in good numbers.
In addition, there were two mega birds at opposite ends of the size spectrum for the site. The first, and by far the loudest, was a heron. Not usually caught in the nets used for small birds, this big character brought in the crowds, was given its unique number, a quick health check and sent on its way.
Possible goldcrest/firecrest hybrid
The second was a possible, yet to be confirmed, goldcrest/firecrest hybrid thought to be one of only four found with this hybridisation. The first three records were found in mainland Europe with DNA holding the key to their genealogy.
Visitors and volunteers were shown how to identify different birds, how to ring them and most importunity told how bird ringing helps us build a knowledge base about the birds and how that data can be used to benefit conservation activities on site.
Feedback for the event was extremely positive with many people recording their interest in joining an onsite ringing group. If you would like to know more about bird ringing on site and how to get involved please contact Charlie Owens on firstname.lastname@example.org.