Sunday, 30 November 2008

This week

Just a catch-up on what's been caught during the last week.

EN was in Norfolk last weekend; he caught 38 new birds & 30 retraps at the feeding station in the garden, which backs onto wet woodland. The new birds were - Goldc 5, Lotti 5, Coati 7, Bluti 12, Greti 7, Chaff 1 & Grefi 1.

On Thurs. a short session with DTH at the F/S at Priory saw just 16 birds in the bag(s). New/retrapped totals - Wren 1/1, Dunno 0/3, Bluti 1/4, Greti 0/2, Chaff 1/0 (a whopping male), & Grefi 2/1. It might have been better if the feeders had been refilled earlier (probably empty for 2 days prior to Weds).

A photo of some of the "Nest-box Abuse" that is going on around the Park. This one overlooks a net ride.

At Elms Farm, 3 morning sessions produced 49 new birds and 6 retraps; that's better!
Again, new/retraps - Woopi 1/0 (right fat b*st*rd), Wren 1/1, Dunno 0/1, Lotti 9/0, Coati 1/0 (an uncommon bird, hereabouts), Bluti 1/0, Housp 2/0, Starl 4/1, Chaff 2/0, Grefi 19/2 & Goldf 9/2.

These pictures show the difference between male and female upper tail coverts and adult and 'juvenile' tail feathers. The distinguishing points are the width of the feather edges and/or the diffuseness of the edge pattern.

One for the pot?

Saturday, 29 November 2008

CHA 29/11

Well, what a dismal morning. The mist didn't clear at all. Did manage to erect a couple of nets and had the grand total of eight birds. As follows new/retrapped
Bluti 2/1, Cetwa 0/1 (ex Tring), Greti 0/1, Goldc 0/1, Dunno 1/0, Robin 1/0.

Hopefully we'll get more before the end of the year.

Also on the cards is the need to clear a new net ride in anticipation of a feeding station and the levelling of an existing "dodgy" path for safer ringing activities next season. Any volunteers?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

FS - Weds 17th Nov

A morning (walk in) session. A bit of a Blue Tit day! with 1 new adult, 4 new 1CY and 8 r/t's.
Also 6 Greti (2 new), 2 new Blabi, 2 r/t Grefi, & new Goldf & Chaff; 25 in all [11 new].

The best was A761442 - ringed as a 3JM on 29-06-2002; duration = 6y.4m.21d.

Birdwatching filled the "gaps" - 5 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 9 Goldfinch, Chiff, Kestrel, several Sky Lark over, 4 Bullfinch, ~9 Siskin (or more, very busy & noisy), Gt.Spot and ... best bird of the day ... Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!

Now that almost all the leaves are off the trees, we can go for a full net set-up next week if the weather is OK, and maybe catch some thrushes - if they haven't all passed through by then.

Monday, 17 November 2008

CHA 16/11/08

Started ringing at 7:00 but got rained off at 10:30.

Did manage to get the WeBS count in though.

Ringing totals as follows; new/retrapped (16/2)
Lotti 2/2; Wren 1/0; Goldc 1/0; Treec 1/0; Goldf 8/0; Bluti 1/0; Grewa 1/0; Robin 1/0.

Friday, 14 November 2008

More garden! - 14th Nov

"Allo, me ole cock Sparra!"

Didn't intend to do any today, but succumbed at 08:00 after the early birds (mainly ringed Goldf) had fed.
Retrapped a young Dunno with an undershot bill. Surprise bird was a 3F Coati in the net with three unringed 3F Bluti about 10 o'clock; this was a FIRST for the garden.

Another "goodie" was a very large and heavy 3F Goldf. Its wing was 81.5/82 and its weight 17.6 - despite the fact that it only had 0.5 fat and pec 1. This is BIG for a C.c.britannica or nominate carduelis. It had obviously moved some distance recently as you could see the thin layer of fat lining the cavity. I suspect, after looking things up, that it was of the sub-species C.c.volganensis from the southern Ukraine or SE Russia supposedly on its migration south (to the Med./Italy).

A young Goldfinch still undergoing PJ moult - or has it stopped?

Todays total was 23 of 6 spp. comprising 14 Goldf (12 new), 2 Grefi, 4 Bluti, 1 Dunno, 1 Coati, 1 Chaff.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Garden ringing - 13th Nov

A couple of hours with a 30' before the rain!
29 birds all told, 22 new and 17 GOLDF made up of 6 new ads 8 new imms and 3 r/t.
Also caught r/t ad Dunno, new 4F Robin, r/t Lotti (from this time last year), 2 young Bluti r/t's, a new Greti male (the first Greti in the garden for quite some time), a fem Housp, 3 young Starl and 2x 3M Grefi that had lost quite a bit of fat recently and were probably "foreigners" (up north or continental)

Grefi - 3M, wing 93, wt 29.0, fat 1.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

FS - Weds 12th Nov

Had to take advantage of the good weather. Young male Sparrowhawk chasing a Pied Wag and being harried by a Chaffinch as I walked across the wet meadow (08:15). Just got the 40' up when a Greenshank appeared overhead calling, but turned sharply NW as it reached me (08:30). Six Blackbirds in a bush by the feeders that left after eating. First bird was a new (1CY) female GRSWO. Siskins zipped about all morning - so no idea how many involved. Some wonderful views as they sat in the tree-tops with the sun full on them. Four more Blackbirds passed through (09:00). [I also had 2 lots of two later, plus the resident incumbents]. An early GRETI just happened to have been ringed in Box3, 100' away!! and another from Box5 [LH] later. I caught 3 BLUTI from Box1, which is also in the Rough.

Another early bird was the male GOLDC from 4 weeks ago. The first GREFI, today's target spp. came in at 09:20. Shortly after, nine Fieldfare passed along the 'long hedge'. Sky Larks flew SW calling every 5-10 minutes and I clocked at least a couple of dozen in the 4 hours. Another interesting sp. were two L.Redpoll that buzzed through quite late on. I counted 5 different Herons leaving the Fingers (lily-pads). Right at the end the only (1CY) GOLDF.

I nearly passed up two Chiffchaffs when I heard a loud "single" call repeated in the 'thorn hedge. I thought it was a Chaffinch until I saw " a small brown movement" instead of the expected "tricolour". The GREFI today seemed very wary; perhaps they could see the net in the bright sunlight. Not a bad morning's work!

Tally - AHY/HY/AHYr-t/HYr-t (for our American friends)
Greswo 0/1/1/0, Wren 0/0/0/1, Dunno 0/1/0/1,
Robin 0/0/0/1, Goldc 0/0/0/1, Bluti 0/5/2/4,
Greti 1/2/9/3, Grefi 0/8/0/1, Goldf 0/1/0/0/.

It is quite noticeable the difference between the tits;
Blue - 9 'age3' incl. 5 'new' and only 2 'age4+';
Great - 5 'age3' with only 2 'new' and 10 'age4+', 9 of which were re-traps.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

FS - Thurs 6th Nov

Taking advantage of a break in the wet and windy weather, a short mid-day session at Priory from 12 'til 2:30 at the feeding station produced 50 birds, 24 of these were new.
The best birds were GREFI with 16 new & 2 r/t; only 2 were adult and the sexes were even. Of the Grefi caught this year, a mere 8% have been retraps.

Six Greti were caught, one of which had been ringed by MFP at Park Wood NR as a pullus in May 2006 (4km distant across town).

Apart from a r/t female Grswo and a young male Chaff, the rest - naturally - were Bluti. Just 5 (20%) were new but KK09289 , who started life in May 2003, turned up and he is now about 100 days short of the IRG longevity record for the sp. The others were a good mix of old and young birds, split between the sexes.

The Siski and Goldf flew overhead and 'twittered' but came nowhere near the feeders.
DK flushed a Woodcock here last Fri. and found a Lesser Spot by the 'flower meadow', and later the Kramer hide, on Mon.