Pond Dipping and Tit Chick ID

Wednesday, May 30th 2018

Damp weather didn't deter the intrepid band of pond dippers this morning.  After a short briefing to make sure that everyone stayed dry by not falling in the water, the heavens opened and there was a heavy downpour for the first 10 minutes of the activity.

Despite this, all nineteen taking part were able to catch examples of Foxglove pond life.  By far the most common were the tadpoles, but there were also many Sticklebacks, several Pond Snails, snail eggs, Whirligig Beetles, a Pond Skater, Damselfly and Stonefly larva and a Water Boatman.  This was a chance for Ian, one of our newer volunteers to get involved in our events and he spent two hours helping with species identification.

Meanwhile Ian joined Sophie on a trip to check up on the nest boxes at Marne Barracks.

The visit proved well worth it, and provided a masterclass in Tit chick identification; finding and ringing many Blue Tit (Left), Coal Tit (Centre), and Great Tit (Right) chicks.  

This was an excellent opportunity for any novice Bird Ringer as you were quickly able to start memorising the differences between the chicks. The most noticeable difference between the Blue Tit and Coal Tit being the shape of the patch of lighter feathers on the back of the head; whereas the Great Tit chicks have white outer tail feathers and a mardy look about them (due to the drooping corners of their beaks when compared to other Tit chicks). 


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