Saturday, 8 March 2014

Donkey Ringing

....well maybe not quite, bird ringing at the Donkey Sanctuary yes.

I'm really privileged to be able to ring here as this charity owns and manages acres and acres of superb wildlife-friendly habitat, containing a surprising variety of different habitats too.

Friday morning I spent three and half hours with two nets up, which resulted in 34 birds ringed.  One of the first birds in the net was a Nuthatch, but not any old Nuthatch. The only other time I've ringed at this location was back in May 2012, and during that session I caught one Nuthatch - the same Nuthatch

Love the powerful dagger-like bill

She was a breeding adult when I caught her back in 2012, thankfully she's still a she!

In keeping with the trunk climbing nature of this species, the real highlights from the session were two absolutely beautiful Treecreepers.  Not an easy species to age, in fact it's only recently that a few features have been noticed. Even so, I was confident ageing one as an adult, but the other I've had to put down as a '4' (ringers age code for not a clue!).

This bird was considerably longer billed than the first,  so maybe a male?

The same bird. Incredibly it was two grams lighter than the Wren we caught an hour earlier!

I really look forward to doing more ringing here. It will be interesting to learn how many birds are making use of this well preserved part of East Devon.


  1. We've been to see the donkeys today. The sanctuary is a great environment; you're a lucky man. Treecreeper is a big favorite of mine too

  2. Many thanks. I'm pleased to say the sanctuary are just beginning to realise they are not just an important place for Donkey's, but are for UK wildlife too.