Beeston, Bedfordshire. February 2009.

I joined the Beeston bird ringing team for the first time this year along with my dad. The weather was dull and cold, but by the end of the session a fair amount of birds had been caught.

Five long tailed tits were netted and they all turned out to be from a previous ringed event, just 1 was missing from the original 6 and still staying as a unit too.

Five blackbirds were caught and it was good to see the difference in the feathering stage when it was being aged.

Only a couple of finches were netted despite plenty of food being put down and goldfinch on show around the nets. There were a couple of jays around which would of been great to see one in the hand and a first for the list there.
At first i thought i saw a starling caught up in something on the ground with its wings out and flapping around the leaf litter, but on going closer to inspect it turned out it was fighting another starling which was hidden beneath it and well and truly attacked. My approach scared them off, but it was only a matter of time before they were fighting again and this time the second bird was only able to scurry away, and when the third attack started the starling pictured here was at deaths door and so i stepped in collected the bird and gave it to derek who placed it in a ringing bag to rest and the thought was it would not survive such a beating. But lo and behold after an hour the bag was moving a lot and on inspection seemed okay and so was ringed and let off away from the area it was attacked, hopefully it will fair better. The starling was a female and the census was that it was 2 females fighting over a nesting hole and/or a male bird.