Monday, 31 August 2009

CES V.12 - 23rd August

CHALTON: - A very disappointing end session with only 9 birds of 6 species. These consisted of 2 ad. 6 juv's and 1 retrap as follows:

Wren 1/0/1, Chiff 1/1/0, Blaca 0/2/0, robin 0/1/0, Reewa 0/1/0, Grefi 0/1/0.

We needed a bit of exposed mud round the edge of the typha pond - so we sent the girls in!!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

CES v.12 - 27th August

Thursday, OMO, Priory CP.
Last session of the 2009 season for Constant Effort ringing. Now we go back to ringing for ourselves. A decent day, both weather-wise and for the birds, to round off the summer - with 27 birds of which 26 were juvvies & 19 were new. The only adult bird was a male Goldfinch in moult which had to go down as a '4'. Some of the young Blackcaps are beginning to put on a bit of fat, at last. The best was only F20 (ESF).

(Retraps in brackets). Wren (1), Dunnock 2 (1), Blackbird (3), Reed Warbler 4, Lesser 'throat 1, Whitethroat 1 (1), Blackcap 5 (2), Treecreeper 1 - our 2nd in a week, Greenfinch 1, Goldfinch 3, Bullfinch 1.

An adult male Sprawk came down the 'dark' (north) side of the Long Hedge and hit the net by a pole as I was walking up. Even though I was quite close, it wriggled and got out. Half an hour later, it came back over. There has been a noticeable increase in 'feathers' on the ground recently, presumable from his attacks (or that of his like). Also a male Kestrel over (they don't normally cruise over this far from their territory).

This year has not been the best for adults "in the net" - I suspect they have had it relatively easy and have been breeding "non-stop", without a lot of too-ing & fro-ing which has not been to our advantage . The juvenile productivity has been excellent; it has been the best year since 1992-94! It was the best ever for Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, & Goldfinch - and 2nd best for Blackbird & Great Tit.

Statistics:- 372 individual birds caught, 99 adults (51 birds from previous years), 273 juveniles. 18 years under our belt.

The last CES at the Thorns will be this Saturday. That's 22 years worth.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

CES 22nd August at Priory

Today's jaunt was either the last (visit 12) or an additional visit - all depending on next weekend's weather! [It turned out to be an additional visit B] All the birds were caught between 06:30 and 09:30, although the nets remained up for another 2 1/2 hours. The sun was out all the time and the temperature climbed from 9C to 22C.

The bulk of the birds were Blackbirds, 8 in all; 1 adult r/t (male born 2006), the rest juvs and only the retraps in PJ moult, the new ones were most likely a brood fresh out. No retrapped Blackcaps but only one with any fat loading (3.5 ESF). Best bird - either the 3JP Treecreeper or the 3O Willow Warbler [we don't get alot of these two spp.]. The only other adult caught was our 2005 male Dunnock, R986666 - that's easy to remember!

Tally - Wren 1, Dunno (1), Robin (1), Blabi 4 (4), Sonth 1, White (1), Blaca 5, Chiff 1, Wilwa 1, Treec 1. We'll see what next week brings.

One of our ringed Garden Warblers was feeding on the Elderberries just outside the area.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Priory CES v.11 on 15th August

A good job we set the nets up the night before because the first half of the session was ballistic. We had caught 40 birds by 8 o'clock with just the two of us (and we'd set another net on an adjacent site as a tester). However, after the Lord Mayor's Show, we were left with just 5 birds in the next 3 hours plus a couple of SDR's.

The catch itself was good with2 new adults, a 5F Song Thrush (still with a good, engorged BP), and a male Willy that had finished moulting (below). There were 39 new juveniles plus 2 retraps from earlier sessions. The other 2 retraps were a Blackie from 2004 and a 'Prune' from 2005, both males.

Adult Willow Warbler post summer moult
Note the white lower breast & belly

Juvenile (3P) Willow Warbler finishing its post-juvenile moult
Note the streaky yellow extending well down the belly

A good haul of young Blackcaps and also the awaited juvvy Goldfinches.
14 species [new/retrapped]: Wren 2/0, Dunno 1/1, Robin 4/1, Blabi 2/2, Sonth 4/0, Reewa 1/0, White 1/0, Garwa 3/0, Blaca 8/0, Chiff 2/0, Wilwa 4/0, Bluti 1/0, Greti 2/0, Goldf 6/0.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Chalton, CES11 - 9th August

The same tally as last week - 41 birds of 14 spp - but with a different make-up. The only new adult was a Chiff.

Namely - Wren 5/1, Dunno 2/3, Robin 0/1, Sonth 1/0, Sedwa 6/0, Reewa 4/0, Garwa 1/0, Blaca 2/0, Chiff 3/0, Lotti 2/1, Bluti 2/3, Greti 1/1, Treec 2/0.

The switch around in the warblers was very noticeable and the Treecreepers were an added bonus.

Minus the driver!

Graham wizzed round on the new (s/h) ride-on mower we bought for this site in just over an hour to keep the extensive system of rides and linking paths open. We still haven't got the cheapo strimmer going for lack of a bit of pipe. He also prepared the short flower meadow by close cutting a patch ready for the Mipits where we will employ all three tactics - mist net cage, spring traps & whoosh net.

Thorns CES v.11 - 9th August

What a day! - more like times of old! 14 species, 58 new birds and 15 re-traps made 73 birds in all, with two-thirds of them caught in the second half of the session. A 4th Green Woody for the site this year! Really good numbers of Whitethroat (the site has always had a high breeding population), Blackcap, Blue Tit youngsters (the boxes are solely occupied by Gt. Tits) and Bullfinch (another site speciality).

The catch consisted of: Grewo 1 , Wren (3) , Dunno 2 , Robin 5 , White 11 (1), Garwa 1 (1), Blaca 7 (1), Chiff 2 , Lotti 3 (5), Bluti 12 , Greti 2 , Treec 1 , Chaff 5 (1), Bullf 6 (2).

Two trainers and 3 ringers made up the crew today. Flyovers included a Peregrine and a Yellow Wagtail.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Priory CES Visit 10

Sat 8th August. A fine day with light & variable winds. 42 birds of 15 species (beats Chalton!!) with just 6 recaptures.

Definitely on stream for a very good year - 95 NFY adults of 20 spp & 211 seperate juvs of 18 spp so far this season. 45 individuals re-trapped from previous years plus 262 fitted with 2009 rings. The juvvies should beat the 2004 and 1999 figures for the site (the last decent years) and might give 1994 a run for its money. On the other hand, we have only caught about 70% of the mean figure for adults in this year so far and it may be difficult to add another ~40 to the list.

Today's figures as follows (ad/juv/r-t): Woodp 1/0/0, Wren 0/2/0, Dunno 1/0/1, Robin 0/2/0, Blabi 0/3/1, Sonth 0/1/0, Reewa 1/2/0, Leswh 0/1/0, White 0/4/1, Garwa 0/5/0, Blaca 1/6/1, Chiff 1/0/0, Bluti 0/3/2, Grefi 1/0/0, Goldf 0/1/0.

The five Garden Warblers (age3) all carried a good amount of fat, with scores from F1.0 (one bird) to F3.0, F3.5 & F4.0. The pic below looks a bit fuzzy - 'cos the feathers over the breast/belly were in motion (not the DT's).

Every bird we caught today was undergoing some sort of moult. This male Blackcap (below) had a moult score of 25 with just the 3 outer primaries old (that includes the vestigial one). It had dropped one secondary and was renewing all its retrices (tail).

There was a Willow Warbler singing just outside the enclosure and a young Green Woody sallying back and forth noisily (well above the nets), followed by one of its parents.

Chalton STW - CES V10, 2nd August

Moderate capture of 41 of 14 species, the majority being juveniles. The session ended up with the following ad/juv/r-t :

Wren 0/2/1, Dunno 0/2/0, Robin 0/2/0, Blabi 0/1/1, Sonth 0/0/1, Sedwa 0/0/1, Reewa 0/4/1C, White 0/4/0, Garwa 0/1/0, Chiff 0/5/0, Wilwa 0/1/0, Lotti 4/2, Bluti 0/2/3, Greti 0/3/0,

However, being a moderate catch, Sue made up for it by the discovery of a Broad-leaved Helleborine var. alba. According to Chris Boon, the plant recorder for Beds, this is the first time that this var. has been seen/recorded in Beds. Photo will follow, though the plant is beginning to go over now.