Getting hands on with the woodland wildlife

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BIRD watchers of all ages gathered at Thornham Walks bird hide on Sunday morning to take part in an important bird ringing event.

Sid Batty, Thornham Walks resident bird ringer, led the group in catching a number of birds.

The bird ringing event is held once a year, in March, at Thornham Walks, but Mr Batty, who is a licensed bird ringer, regularly carries out checks at the site.

About 40 people turned up to take part in the bird ringing which is an important way of gathering information about birds in the area.

Helen Sibley, Thornham Walks countryside officer, said: “You catch the birds in the nets, weigh them, measure their wing size and age them.

“It is important to understand a pattern of their territories, how they move about the area and how long they live for.”

The group then passes the information on to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The group caught a variety of tits and chaffinches. Mr Batty once caught a sparrow hawk.