Saturday, 26 July 2008

CES V9 - 25/07

Friday - Hopes were high that we would achieve a better total today than we've been getting. The weather was set fair with little or no wind.
It turned out that we netted 5 adults, 19 juveniles and 3 retraps (27 of 11 spp).

Wren -/3/-, all pristine and obviously fresh
Robin -/3/-, 2 in full-blown PJ, the other had finished (O)
Blabi 1/1/-, the 2CY male was undergoing M, and had a broken tail right the way across (fault bar damage)
Reewa -/1/1, our first juv on this sub-site this year; the r/t was a CONTROL (R767831), first captured at FL on 07-05-08.
This bird was originally ringed at Willington by Mark T. on 31-07-05 as a 4M (1091days)
Leswh - -/1/-, what we presumed were the two parents were flying around with food
White -/1/-, a pristine bird!
Garwa -/2/-, both in different stages of BM, one quite advanced
Blaca 3/5/1, 4F, 5M in moult, 6F; the r/t was a 3JP male, the others still proper Js (no BM)
Chiff -/-/1, a male from 03/04 starting its BM prior to full M
Bluti -/1/-, another "escaped" young 'un, a female
Grefi 1/1/-, a %M and a 3JF

As the next period (10) starts on Sunday 3rd, will most likely do the Sheep-pen or another site (CHA?) next Sat. [away in Norfolk Sun/Mon]. We may get invited to undertake some ringing at the new "Sandy Smith Reserve" near Clophill.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Chalton STW

Sunday produced 24 birds ringed/retrapped as follows

Dunno 2/1; sedwa1/1; cetwa 1/1; reewa 6/3; blab 0/1;
kingf 0/1; wilwa1/0; blaca 1/0; white 3/0

Waterloo Thorns CES8

Chris Bowden kindly ran CES at the Thorns for us on sunday 21st. Another slow session, with only 15 captures, but it did get breezy towards the end. At least he got few Sylvia warblers.

Blackcap 3/0
Whitethroat 2/0
Garden Warbler 2/0
Robin 1/0
Great Tit 1/0
Wren 2/1
Dunnock 0/2
Chiff 1/0

CES 9 planned for Sunday 27th July

Best wishes

Thursday, 17 July 2008

CES - visit 8, 17/07

Overcast, drizzle and showers; only good thing was the lack of wind!
Not the best of days. Incidentally, Dave Kramer also concurred that there is a lack of birds in the Rough this year. Need to give that veg one hell of a bashing next winter!!!

Wren -/1 J/3 (F & 2 Js)
Song Thrush 1/-/- (a 5M)
Reed Warbler - one of the ones (an 8M) from yesterday
Whitethroat -/-/1 (a tatty 5M)
Garden Warbler -/1/- (our 1st juv of the year)
Blackcap 1/4/- (now 14 M,13 F & 12 Js to date)
Chiffchaff -/1/1 (a male in heavy moult)
Blue Tit -/-/1 (male in moult)
Great Tit -/1/- (another 'escapee')

It was dead after 10:10. Visit 9 scheduled for 26th.

We have now had 719 handlings of 588 individual birds at PCP this year, of which 474 are new birds.

IRG Ringing Report No.9 for 2006-07 has now been distributed.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Early Weds

A couple of nets up at the crescent, on the north-east side this time. Target - more Reed Warblers. As it turned out, I caught 11, only one of which was a juv! 7 birds were retraps and today most of the adults were at least 4 years old; they had that lovely mahogany eye colour. The sexes were 50:50.

This was the best brood patch today.

I also caught a young Chiff that was starting its PJ moult (body feathers only at the moment), a 3J Blue Tit that we had ringed in Box 19 (1 of 6) and a juvvy Song Thrush (a second was in the net but it got out). A decent two hour (three if you count setting up and taking down, etc) session. An added bonus came when six (yes, 6) Little Egrets flew almost over my head; they came from the P/L hide area and made off downstream. [DK says 1 remained in the SW corner, too]

From my base at the end of the spit, I could hear the Grey Wags reported at the Mill weir / Slalom (13 counted, per Bedsbirds)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


As I am spending some time in the west of the county, I will share some of my ringing with you. I can get 90' of net up in the garden but usually settle for 40' or 50'. This gives the birds a chance to use the second set of feeders - after they've been caught once.
This year so far I've ringed 415 birds as follows with the 36 month total in brackets.
Sparr 1 (1), Stodo 2 (5), Coldo 3 (6),
Grswo 0 (4), Wren 4 (6), Dunno 1 (21),
Robin 8 (21), Blabi 33 (70), Sonth 0 (5),
Blaca 1 (1), Chiff 1 (1), Goldc 0 (2),
Lotti 3 (44), Marti 4 (8), Wilti 0 (2),
Coati 14 (83), Bluti 49 (263), Greti 37 (150),
Treec 0 (1), Jay 0 (2), Starl 3 (3),
Housp 0 (2), Chaff 23 (33), Bramb 2 (2),
Grefi 48 (72) & Siski 177 (177).

The garden backs onto a footpath leading to Ling Common, a wood that is wet on our (the west) side with Oak, Ash, Birch & Blackthorn, and which rises and becomes drier to the east, where Corsican and Scots Pine dominate the Birch & Heather.
Fred Cooke lives at the Castle Rising corner and I sometimes catch NOA birds ringed in his garden.

Darvics were ready, but this is what we caught

Errol's request for 'piccies' from PCP on 12/07/08 by EDG.

Above: If I remember rightly, a new 5M bullfinch.

Above: Dave spies something beginning with a C. Clue: It ends with an imperial unit of measurement!

Broom GP

I have been on my travels recently (well, Broom is a fair distance on a bike late in the eveneing). Not strictly IRG but I thought I'd keep you posted, occasionally (so as not to bore you), with my adventures.

Above: Common Tern - one of many found on Peacocks Island at Broom GP. Already fledged birds should be boosting tern numbers at other gravel pits (Priory CP etc). The Terns were being individually colour ringed this year so we can chart their individual progress (that is, if any are resighted!).

Swiftly does it!

The Emplins in Gamlingay is a 15th century house. It is a very charming building and this is where a certain species of bird decides to nest each year - in the loft. A couple of hours rooting around in the lofts avoiding gaps, squeasing around, trying not to put a foot through the ceiling and generally getting very hot. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the flies and a bees nest that sent us back the way we came (very quickly!). We had 17 birds (mostly young including a few adults - 1 a retrap from last year) from the loft. Outside, the nets were up and 3 swifts were caught.

Above: Mark is kindly holding the bird to pose for a photo.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Instead of BARGOs (12/07)

Bedford River Festival - aarghh!! No canoeists available for the Bargo round-up. Looks like it's going to be colour-ringing every second year from now ... unless???

Went to the back of the sheep-pen (PCP,LH) instead with Ed and Dave and put up c.300' in 4 areas. Tally for the morning (3-4 hours) was 9/5/8 (that's 9 new adults/5 new juvs/8 retraps); not bad considering it was blowing hard from the north.

So, Wren 3/2/-, Dunnock 1/1/1 (male ex R), Robin -/-/1 (from Feb), Blackbird 2/-/- (m & F), Les. W/throat -/-/1 (5F. from May ex R), White -/1/-, Blackcap -/-/2 (see below), Gt.Tit -/-/1 (Juv. r/t'd on last Tues on CES), Chaffinch 1/-/- (5M), & Bullfinch 2/1/2 (1 juv, the rest 5s) - this net set across the sow-thistles.

Blackcaps - both 6M, ringed as 3Js, both in R; one from 25-06-06, the second from 29-06-03, & r/t on 11-06-05 also in R, is a NEW group longevity record at over 5 years, which has stood for the last 11 years (H460700 @ THO).

Will post some piccies by the trainees later.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

CES - visit 7, 8th July

8th July; weather - cloudy with a fair breeze, becoming sunny with lighter winds.

Not one of our best days; just 14 birds in the regular CES nets, plus 5 more in an extra net.

Wren -/4/3 (ad/juv/rt); Dunnock 1/1/-; Robin -/1/-; Garden Warbler 1/-/1; Chiff -/2/-; WILLOW WARBLER -/1/-; Blue Tit -/1/-; Gt.Tit -/1/1; Bullfinch 1/-/-.

Again, there were many young Wrens. One of the Gt.Tits came from the local box, the other youngster had not been ringed. The Chiffs were both very young females that had probably just fledged.
The young Robin had a red breast but a spotty head. The Bullfinch was a 2CY male. The new Garden Warbler was also a 2CY bird and the retrap was a nesting female.

Juvenile Willow Warbler

The 'Willie' was the first one trapped at Priory this year.

Friday, 4 July 2008

4th of July

A quick early morning tickle on my own (well, not that early!).
A few more Reed Warblers from the 'crescent'; another female from 2004 was at least 6 years old.

Adult Reed Warbler

This year, I have caught 16 females and 14 males in the crescent nets, entering or leaving the reed bed. So far, no juveniles have been trapped.

Several birds over the net including Moorhen, Green W/pecker and the local Blackcaps. Two young Kingfishers sat noisily in the willows alongside the nets, being fed by one parent bird.

A Willow Warbler shuffled through the coppiced willow along the main lakeside (haven't caught a single one yet this year). Great watching the terns fishing with the brilliant sun behind me. E.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


A disappointing day on 2/7 with only 11 birds. 8 new and 3 retraps as follows.

Sedwa 1/0; white 0/1; lotti 0/1; reewa 1/1;chiff 1/0, bluti 3/0; dunno 1/0; blaca 1/0.

Better times ahead I hope.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


At long last, managed to erect nets on 29th. Totals for 29/30th were 15 new and 2retraps(1 a control) of 9 species.

Reewa 5/1; sedwa 2/1; lotti 1/0; white 1/0; robin 2/0; dunno 1/0; goldf 1/0; bluti 1/0; kingf 1/0.

Also 1 bird released unringed as dubious about ID. Presumed juv yelwa but uncertain. Later found out that it was in fact a 3j yelwa. Another new missed for the site. Next time perhaps. It would help if people carried mobile phones.