Only 28 birds searched today, mainly because it was too windy this morning. These 28 birds included two new species for this trip, however:
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
The former gave some mites, a pair of hippoboscids, and a single louse (possibly a Brueelia!), but I didn’t find the louse until I’d already released the bird, so no photos. The sparrowhawk only gave hippoboscids (possibly two different species?), but had to be released prematurely, as the rubber bands we use to secure the collar to the jar were too weak to contain it. There were also some unidentified menoponids (probably Menacanthus on two Garden Warblers Sylvia borin and on one Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio, the latter being collected mainly from the hand of the bander.
I managed to catch three hippboscids alive, and I hope they stay alive for a few days, and that during that time I will get some lice I can collect alive as well (head lice, for instance). We know that some genera of lice (principally Brueelia s. lat., Sturnidoecus, Columbicola, but also Hohorstiella and maybe some others I can’t remember now) can hitch-hike on hippoboscids and move from host to host that way, but it is presently unknown whether this is the case for the large majority of louse genera. A subsidiary goal with this collection trip is to test this with as many genera of lice as possible. We’re only going to test attachment possibilities this time, not whether they stay on the hippoboscid while it’s flying, and so on, so it’ll be a weak test, but it’ll at least be something.