The Dark Room

Monday, 25 January 2021

Full fat

Opened up the net in the garden on Saturday morning for a nice morning session 8 Goldfinch (7 2cy & 1 Ad) plus Female Blackbird and a Female Starling was good but bird of the day was a full fat garden tick Egyptian Goose that flew over calling!


Male Goldfinch

Tuesday, 12 January 2021


Due to the lockdown rules I'm back ringing in my garden for the next few weeks/months - who knows how long for? But to be honest, I do enjoy it and it will be good to study the data in the future.

Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Starling and 6 Goldfinch are the latest birds to be ringed. Not large numbers but still a good turn over of new birds on Sunday afternoon. Below are some cropped images taken with the iPhone.

Male 2cy Starling

Male Goldfinch 2cy

Monday, 4 January 2021

Siberian Chiffchaff

 Here are some images of the Siberian Chiffchaff I found at Beckton creekmouth on Sunday morning 3rd January . I heard a peep call first but couldn't find a bird to fit the call other than a few Common Chiffchaff and a glimpse of a pale Chiffy. After a good search along the path I carried on birding checking the large group of Gulls feeding on the working tip near the creekmouth. A quick chat to Brian Anderson - nice to meet you btw for the  first time about the pale Chiff and not seeing any Caspian Gulls, we went our seperate ways and I carried on checking the Chiff's on the way back to my car and then this little gem popped up along the wall on the sewage works side with Common Chiffchaffs about 11 in total.





Thursday, 31 December 2020

Top spot

 With 2020 coming to a end - thank god! Thought I'll update the blog as it's been a while. The 29th November saw me take a small catch of birds, the highlight of that morning was a smart male Sparrowhawk. The 11th and 20th December were also small numbers of birds ringed solo. Redwings and Chaffinches mostly on both dates. A short ringing session in our garden on the 30th December produced new Blue and Great tits and 2 new Starling - the most popular bird ringed in the garden this year.

On the patch I reached 115sp  to take top spot for the first time as I normally always come second. No rares found just passage migrants but still fun with the boys ie Paulboy, Dave Mo, Monkey, Lee and Steve Smith.

Let's hope 2021 will be better for everyone

stay safe and happy new year!

Sunday, 22 November 2020

2 nets

 The conditions were perfect on Friday morning for a solo ringing session - a drop in temperature, low cloud and light winds. A silhouette of a Woodcock flying low over the path as I was walking to the site was a great start too.

I set up 2 nets and ringed 42 new birds and had only 3 retraps including a 1cy male Brambling, Other highlights of the morning were 1 Fieldfare, 3 Redpoll, 6 Redwing, 2 Chaffinch a whopping 25 Reed Bunting! The 1cy female Fieldfare is only the 4th to be ringed at our site and my second. However more than 30+ were seen through the morning but no more were in the catching area. 3 teas and a coffee kept me warm and the 45 birds proceesed kept me busy.

1cy male Redpoll

Reed Bunting



All images were taken with the Iphone.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020


 Reached a small milestone for the garden this week as I've now ringed over 150 birds of 20 species. A female Chaffinch was the 20th Species and a Long-tailed Tit was 150th to be ringed. It all started back in February when I got my C-permit and all the data has been given to the BTO. A full list of the birds are below.

Blackbird 3

Starling 63

Blue Tit 13

Great Tit 4

Parakeet 4

Goldfinch 22

Dunnock 4

Woodpigeon 2

Robin 3

Green Woodpecker 1

House Sparrow 4 

Magpie 11

Crow 1

Collard Dove 1

Chiffchaff 1

Goldcrest 3

Blackcap 2

Long-tailed Tit 9

Sparrowhawk 1

Chaffinch 1

Just 1 control and that was a male Chaffinch ringed at our own site not that far away on 13:9:20.

However Jackdaw is always seen in the garden daily but are just to clever and see the 9m net!

 Long-tailed Tit




Thursday, 22 October 2020

Tick and ring

 With time off work last week I squeezed in some ringing on  the 12th. 14 species were ringed Redwing and Redpoll added a spalsh of autumn colour. 14th 7 Redwing, 2 Goldcrest were the highlights of 17 species ringed. The 16th in my garden this time produced 12 birds 3 Goldcrest, 3 Long-tailed Tits (both new for the garden list) and Blackcap were best. Brambling and Coal Tit over was also very good. Back at our site on the 17th with PH we ringed 2 Brambling and another 14 flew over as did 2 Crossbill making it a very good morning.The Brambling were new for the both us and our site to be ringed!


Male Brambling 1cy code 3


Goldcrest from my garden

This Adult Blue Tit above ringed in my garden had a bill length of 15mm!

The afternoon on the 17th I crossed the Dartford bridge to Kent and successfully twitched the 1cy Masked Shrike at Shuart. It showed really well and I now regret not taking my camera as I went straight away after ringing without poping home first. I've seen them abroad before in Turkey but this was a UK tick for me. All in all a great week off and I got the jobs done too in doors so Mrs H is pleased too.