Saturday, 30 May 2009

Long Hedge PCP, Harrold & CES V4 - Priory

Three days of early mornings with some slight reward - and a big bill for the car!!

Long Hedge 28/05 - 11 birds, 8 new, 5 juvs, 4 nets, OMO. New adult Wren, Robin, Blackcap; 3 juv Robin, 2 juv Blue Tit; pair of retrap Dunnock & 1 Blackcap (this years female).

Harrold CP 29/05 - even warmer, lots of birds singing, 200', little movement (except for Jason!) 6 new adult birds; 2 Wren, male Blackbird, male Blackcap, pair of Bullfinch. The car "made contact with" post in the down position on way out; nasty noise!

CES 30/05 - with Ed, got the nets up overnight. On driving over the speed bumps (slowly) on Riverfield, heard the same "grinding" noise. Inspection in staff car park revealed major damage underneath! Whoops! [I did hit something hard, twice, lying in the road about 3 weeks ago, but nothing apparent on MOT two days later. Now there's something dislodged and another piece very mangled. £750 ### Ouch!]

21 birds; 2 new adults, 12 new juvs, 5 retraps. Wren 1/0/0, Dunno 0/2/3, Robin 0/7/1 (another juv. but from the Long Hedge), Blabi 1/0/1, Chiff 0/2/1 (a juv), Garwa 0/0/1 ( a female born here in 2007), Chaff 0/1/0. The weather was totally cloudless, warm sunshine > hot by the time we packed up and with very little wind.

We have now caught 18 young Robins here so far this year, from a guesstimate of 6 different broods/nests.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

CES V3 - Thorns 23/05

CES session 3 was done on Saturday 23 May (last minute decision when the weather turned out better than forecast).

All the trapped birds were actively breeding (brood patches/cloacal protuberances), though there was a small influx of new blackcaps since the last visit. No fledglings yet.

Totals: 16 new / 10 retraps, 12 species
DUNNO 0, 5; ROBIN 2, 0; BLABI 1, 0; LESWH 1, 1; WHITE 1, 1; BLACA 5, 0; GARWA 2, 0; LOTTI 0, 1; GRETI 0, 1; BLUTI 1, 0; BULLF 2, 1; YELHA 1, 0.

Other stuff: bullfinch nest by ride 1 (4 eggs) & one scarce umber caterpillar brushed off bushes. No sign at all of the painted lady invasion that started the following day.

Mark's AWOL bees are still living in the dead tree at the end of ride 3.

Scarce Umber caterpillar at Waterloo Thorns 23-05-09

Red-legged partridge found having a kip in a net - it flew off through the net when woken (another redleg was dust bathing in the ashes of our bonfire ).
Dave B

Monday, 25 May 2009

Tree Sparrow boxes - Thorns 24/05

No Tree Sparrows yet again! Quite a mixed bag this year as you will see.
Of the 21 boxes - 8 had been woodpeckered (a common feature of last winter all over our area), 1 was missing, 3 contained old nests, 1 had already fledged, 1 was on the point of fledging, 1 had been abandoned (contained 8 cold eggs), and the remaining 6 had 48 young in that all received some BTO (not so) cheap jewellery, courtesy of Amanda.

Jumping out of the fire

Bank Holiday Monday: early morning stint down at the 'crescent' (Priory) with a couple of nets only. Unfortunately, the rangers coppiced one side AND part of the other, leaving the nets exposed against the sky, whichever way the birds come in or go out.
Having said that, I did fairly well (about average for here, always a tricky job) with 8 birds in all.
Main target were the Reed Warblers with 4 new birds - all 2CY, 50-50 M-F - and a retrap male from '04. It's still early days yet; some of the Reed Warblers are sitting and I have always fared better when the young are being fed in the nest. The problem is that this is often after the fisherman are back, so I have to choose my moment carefully.
Others birds were a juv Robin, a second male Reed Bunting (maybe the one from the reeds the other side of the path) and a fresh, young Kingfisher.

Packed up by 9 0'clock, just as the park was starting to get busy with visitors and dog walkers.
Looks like this afternoons nest box session will have to be called off as thunderstorms expected; we do need the rain, though.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

News from Gloucestershire

This was one of 8 Goshawk chicks I ringed on Saturday in Gloucestershire. No naming of the site, for obvious reasons! 3 broods consisting of a) 3 females, b) 1 male & 2 females, & c) 1 male and 1 female.

CES V3 - Chalton ... and some pulli

Another glorious, sunny day. I suppose you'd call this 'wet scrub' - 'cos the reeds only fringe the lagoons. Today's team was the "frustrated four"! It was slow going but a good number of Sedges made up for it.

As well as the birds, between us we had - 3 foxes, several rabbits, a muntjac and a large female mink. Butterflies included Orange Tip, Common Blue, Brimstone and one of the many migrating Painted Ladies, looking drab and worn, making its way north. Moths were Treble Lines, Muslin (2), White Ermine, Green Carpet & Poplar Hawk; a cockchafer was also "trapped".

Midday saw 5 C.Buzzards overhead at one time, with one of them a v.white immature bird that peeled off seperately. Around the lagoons were breeding Coot, Tufted and Little Grebe, and later a pair of Shoveler was seen taking to the air whilst we were back at the hut.

By the end we had trapped (new/old) - Dunnock 0/2, Robin 1(juv)/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Sedge 4/4, Reed 7/1, Whitethroat 2/1, Garden W. 1/0, LTT 2(juvs)/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Bullfinch 1/0. In addition we took a tour of the (10) nest boxes and ringed 21 Blue Tit and 7 Gt. Tit pulli in three of them.

Team break!
L to R - Sue (Helper), Graham (A), Errol (Trainer), Jason (T).

Saturday, 23 May 2009

CES V3 - Priory: a better deal.

One at a time! Prospecting 2CY male Reed Warbler

"What a difference a week makes". The vegetation (on our dry scrub site) needed a light prune before it trys to close the racks. Quite a few more birds including a brood of 7 Great Tits - plus mum and dad - from a box close to net 1.
33 birds today of 12 species from our 280' line across the 'Rough'; 9 new adults, 14 juvs & 10 (adult) re-traps.

A cracking male Whitethroat!

[Ad/juv/r-t] WREN 2/1/2, DUNNO 1/1/2, ROBIN 0/2/1, BLABI 0/1/1, REEWA 1/0/0, WHITE 0/0/1 (a handsome 6 male), GARWA 2/0/1, BLACA 1/0/0, CHIFF 0/1/0, BLUTI 1/0/1, GRETI1/7/1, CHAFF 0/1/1.

Well developed brood patch - Garden Warbler

The retrap Garden Warbler, a male, was first ringed on 3rd May 2003 (as a 4M, naturally) and was last seen here on 3rd May 2004. This is second only to last year's re-trap bird at the Thorns (6 yr 350 days versus 6 yr 20 days) in our records. Both birds have" done the disappearing act" for a number of years during that time.

On the bird-watching front, today's highlight was an immature (male) Hen Harrier, seen at close quarters for 2-3 minutes over the netting area.

Buttercups galore this year - where the grass has not been cut

The new Chalton CES tomorrow and the Thorns on Monday(?)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Red B bar P

Believed to be still heading north, one week on.
Latest reported from Sandbach Flashes on 16th, a further 87 km NW in a week (now 178 km NW of Roxton - where it was ringed 1392 days before)
One suggestion is that it's on its way from Slimbridge (winter) to Caerlaverock for the summer !!! I wonder.

Monday, 11 May 2009

CES V2 - Priory 11/05

The first juv of the season

A very windy day compared to yesterday; on the limit for mist-netting passerines. All birds were caught in the bottom two panels, needless to say.

New ad/juv/retrap - Wren 1/-/-, Dunno -/1/2, Robin-/4/-, Blabi -/1/-, Sonth -/1/-, Reewa 1/-/-, Garwa 1/-/1, Chiff 1/-/-, Bullf 1/-/1; 17 birds in all.
You have to remember that this site is run with only 240' of net, all in a (kinked) row.Despite this, it can be a very productive site. On ocassion, we put up an extra net to target birds using the 'bramble patch', usually when the juveniles are on the wing.

The "grey-necked" warbler
[S.borin male]

The 2 retrap Dunno were from Nov'05 & June'03, the new (female) Garwa carried fat3 and bp1 so was most likely fresh in (or stopping over) and the Bullies were a pair of 'teenagers' (incidentally, he had no PJ ogc's, but of known age.)

The "teenagers"

Other birds - Hobby, 15+ Swifts early, plus a party of 9 'screamers' mid-morning, and the Swans on the main lake hatched off 6 cygnets (yesterday?) while 'she of Fingers' is still sitting, ignoring 'himself' chasing the Canadas.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

CES V2 - Thorns, 10/05

Caterpillars of Pale Brindled Beauty (below) and Winter Moth (Dave Buckingham)

A lovely day for ringing; a bit of a ground frost in places, no wind to speak of, bright and sunny and with the vegetation now all out and freshly bright green.

A small team of 2 then 3 managed to process 51 birds of 18 species, 21 of which were retraps, mainly from last year. All birds were adults except Blackbird.

[new/retrap] Wren 0/1, Dunno 2/6, Robin 1/1, Blabi 1/0, Reewa 1/0, Leswh 4/0, White 3/4, Garwa 3/0, Blaca 2/0, Chiff 1/1, Wilwa 0/1 (5th year/+), Lotti 3/0, Bluti 1/1, Greti 1/0, Chaff 3/1, Grefi 3/0, Bullf 0/2, Yelha 1/0.

Many of the Sylvias had reasonable fat scores, suggesting they must still be passing through.

Bingo! Maybe the site is returning to its old glory?

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Bargo Red B bar P

Thanks to Geoff Williams and Tom Perrins who e-mailed this one through.

It is 18 months since we last heard of this bird and its 2 'chums', that was at Slimbridge, where we think it likes to spend mid-winter tucked away on the New Grounds. Today it turned up in a different vector - Tamworth, Staffordshire - with 2 'chums'.
Are they on their way back "home", I wonder? We'll find out, perhaps, on 18/19th July.

Recapture history for 1295590
Ringed 24-07-2005 Roxton, Beds [TL1554] - near "The Black Cat(s) A1 round-about" [There are now TWO Black Cats on this round-about!]

Sighted (R) 02-04-2007 Coate Water, Swindon (121km SW, 1yr 252days)
Sighted (NR) 25-05-2007 Cassington GP, nr. Oxford (80km WSW, 1yr 305days)
Sighted (R) 02-11-2007 New Grounds, WWT Slimbridge (151km WSW, 2yrs 101days) [was most likely this bird here in winter 2006/07 also]
Sighted (NR) 09-05-2009 Drayton Bassett pits, nr. Tamworth (107km WNW, 3yrs 289days)

CES V2 - Chalton 09/05

Fortunately the wind had abated slightly, enabling the session to go ahead.

The catch was reasonable with 20 birds of 11 species made up of 12 new and 8 re-traps.
Wren 0/1, Dunno 0/1, Blabi 2/1, Sonth 1/0, Sedwa 3/2, Reewa 1/2, Leswh 1/0 (the first this year here), White 2/0, Blaca 1/0, Lotti 0/1, Chaff 1/0. The oldest bird was a female Sedwa from mid-May 2006.

We await 2 special, 2-panel SF nets; in the meantime we are having to substitute 3-ply, 1.5 inch mesh nets.

Monday, 4 May 2009

CES Va & V1 - Chalton

Extra visit A on 26/4/09
This session produced 18 birds,13 new and 5 retraps from 06-07 and 08.
Dunno 1/1, Robin 1/0, Blabi 1/1, Sedwa 1/1, Reewa 1/0, White 2/0, Chiff 1/1, Bluti 1/0, Greti 0/1, Goldf 2/0, Reebu 2/0.

Main visit V1 done on 03/05/09
Our first full visit produced 17 birds of 11 species. 8 new and 9 retraps as follows:-
Wren 0/1, Dunno 1/1, Blabi 1/0, Sonth 1/1, Sedwa 1/1, White 1/1, Bluti 0/1, Greti 0/1, Chaff 1/0, Bullf 0/1.

Net ride near sluice

Net ride through the nettles and the spinney

Long Hedge 04/05

A quick session with 3x 60s before the wind and rain arrived. Tally 6 new & 8 retraps of 9 species.
Dunno 0/3 (menage a trois), Robin 1/0 - a 3JJ, Blabi 1M/1F, Blaca 1F/1M, Garwa 1/0 - managed to age this as a 5 with 1 ogc, Chiff 0/1 another 5 on central tail feathers, Bluti 0/2 - both males, one from March '06 as a 5, Greti 1M/0, Chaff 1F/0.
Cuckoo and Gt.Spot hanging around but avoiding us, plus Oyk over.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

CES V1 - Thorns

Sunday - a very productive first visit ... but no Nightingales seen or heard! Very good numbers of Whitethroats. Turtle Dove purring away and laughing at the nets - as usual!

Trainee versus Trainer ???

Today's tally was 33 new birds, plus 7 retraps from previous years, of a remarkable 13 species.
Wren 3/0, Dunno 4/2, Robin 1/0, Blabi 3/1, Sonth 1/0, Leswh 1/0, White 7/1, Garwa 1/0, Blaca 2/0, Chiff 3/0, Wilwa 2/1, Lotti 2/2, Chaff 3/0.

The "extreme gardening" over the winter seems to have done the trick.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

CES V1 - Priory

Song Thrush - adult (6) female

2nd May - a fine, sunny day with little wind (NW) saw a total catch of 12 new adults and 5 retraps from '08; Dunno 0/2, Blabi 2/0, Sonth 1/0, White 2/1, Blaca 4/0, Wilwa 1/0, Bluti 0/1, Greti 1/0 & Bullf 1/1.
The average total catch over 12 visits stands at 320, so todays catch equates to a 64% result. However, the average number of NFY adults per year is 130, and most of these are caught in the first 6 visits (round about 22 per visit would be fair going). Perhaps we had an 80% success ratio or better this morning?

The new male Whitethroats - 6 on the L, 5 on the R

The retrap Whitethroat was a 6F and was carrying F3 & bp1. so probably fresh in. The Blackcaps were evenly split on sex, with one of the females being very 'eggy'. The bullfinches were a pair.
There was a dearth of Robin, Wren & Chiffy song today, with just a little from the Dunnocks. The main songsters were Blackcap and the Garden Warblers which arrived during the week.