Close up of head and upper body of nuthatch bird

Monitoring birds at Alne Wood Park

9 February 2024
James Booth, Alne Wood Park Manager

This winter, the land around Alne Wood Park has seen some important conservation work being practiced.

Bird ringing 

Licenced bird ringers, Leigh and Tony Kelly, who run the Redditch Ringing Group, have been focusing on an area between the hedgerow and Spernal Lane. Bird ringing involves safely putting a lightweight, uniquely numbered ring on a bird’s leg to individually identify it, while also recording species and biometric data.

This data is shared with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) who keep a countrywide record, providing crucial information on how and where birds live which directly helps with their conservation. The BTO also control the licencing which is required to practice bird ringing and ensures best practice to maximise bird safety. 

Bird species ringed

A variety of species have been ringed in the Alne Wood area this winter including the bullfinch and dunnock, which are on the British breeding bird species amber list of conservation concern (meaning a moderate decline).

Additionally, lesser redpoll and marsh tit were caught, both on the red list having declined more severely. Common redpoll is of particular interest since despite its English name, it is far from common here; this species breeds in continental Europe and no more than 1,000 birds are thought to winter in the UK. This is the bird with the red cap in the photos, the other is a nuthatch.

Some of the other bird species that were ringed included blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, robins and chaffinch.

Thanks to Leigh and Tony for the photos of the common redpoll and nuthatch. 

Close up of common redpoll bird head
Common Redpoll
Close up of nuthatch bird head
Monitoring birds in this way enables us to build a picture of our birdlife, helping to shape how we create and manage our habitats for birds within the Forest.