Beating Dennis

We’re braced for more bad weather at weekend as forecasters warn that Storm Dennis follows hot on the tail of Storm Ciara. There’s a yellow weather warning in place for Saturday. 

Meanwhile, and away from click-bait headlines, bird ringers scrutinise the forecasts for a window of respite where they might connect with a few birds. Thursday looked such a day with a few hours of lesser winds and the chance of an odd shower rather than bouts of rain. 

The previous visit to Gulf Lane and Project Linnet was 5 February when we bumped up the total of Linnet captures for winter 2019/2020 to 109 new ones and two recaptures from 2018. That’s about half where we hoped to be at this point in 2020. 

Recent visits to drop our supplementary seed have shown the Linnets’ hunger has overtaken their natural and normally very cautious nature as groups of up to 30 birds fed in the seed drop zone. 


On Thursday morning I met up with Andy at 0845 where we set the whoosh net, dropped more seed and then waited.  We didn’t hang around too long as the Linnets arrived in their customary fashion of small groups that eventually built to a flock of circa 140 individuals. 

Two pulls of the whoosh net resulted in a catch of 39 Linnets - 37 new unringed ones and 2 recaptures. The 39 comprised of 13 second year males, 11 second year females, 10 adult males and 5 adult females. 

Field Sheet 

Recapture S348959, now an adult male had been ringed here at Gulf as a juvenile of unknown sex on 5 August 2017. We have no recaptures for this bird from 5/8/17 until today, a gap of about two and a half years. 

Recapture AKE 3707 had been amongst the catch of 5 February 2020. 

Linnet - adult male 

Linnet - tail of adult male  

Not all adult tails are as clear cut as the example above. 

It seems the Met Office has gone "woke" and prepared for the year of storms ahead with a suitably non-binary, diverse and inclusive list of names in the frames but no Andy or Phil as far as I can see. 

Storms to come

Stop by to Another Bird Blog soon to see how we beat the Met Office storm predictions.