Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Noisy Neighbours

As I write this blog post at my desk in my small student room at university, beside me on my wee windowsill there is a noisy, chattering group of bonnie bright yellow Siskins squabbling as they feed away on an array of sunflower hearts and niger seed. Perhaps a very noisy bunch of neighbours to have but who needs window boxes full of flowers when you can have a windowsill full of these charismatic tropical looking avian delights?!


I’ve been very lucky this year in terms of which room the university has placed me in as I am directly opposite a mature mixed woodland which is abound with wildlife from Roe Deer in the early mornings to Redwing in the afternoon and Tawny Owls at night with regular flocks of Pink-footed geese overhead. As there is so much wildlife, in particular birdlife, outside my window I decided to place a window feeder up in the hope of attracting some colourful visitors.


One feeder soon lead to two, three, four and now five as my window is filled with Woodpeckers, Long-tailed Tits, Robins and of course those beautiful Siskins. So as you can imagine being a keen C permit ringer it wasn't long before I built my first trap and hung it outside my window.

P1110370  P1110361

Expecting to catch the odd Blue and Great Tit I was quite surprised when I started to catch the Long-tailed Tits and Robins.



Before long the Siskin flocks started moving into the nearby woods and taking over the feeders. After the windowsill starting becoming very yellow… and loud I put up a couple more traps and soon started catching a good number of Siskin.


In just a few sessions I have now ringed over 150 Siskins of which I was never expecting anywhere near that number – so much so I have currently stopped ringing as I’ve ran out of rings!


I have also, so far, caught 7 UK controls (birds ringed elsewhere by other ringers).


I love now that, on my days off, I am able to wake up, set the traps and be catching these beautiful birds in the comfort of my own wee room in my pyjamas! Now that’s ringing in style…


I love catching these ‘British Canaries’ – they always brighten up my day!

*I will update my blog when I get details back from the BTO about the controlled birds.


  1. Ah Gillian, what a fantastic idea! How lucky are you to be next to a birdy metropolis hehe. That window trap looks genius, how does it work? And what are you studying? x

  2. Hi Meg,

    Very lucky with where I live. Have a mixture of funnel and walk in traps - some triggered by me, some by the birds. I'm studying Ecology at the minute x