Saturday, 17 December 2011

Nest boxes at Bedford and County Golf Club

No time for any ringing today, as the plan was to put up 6 large nest boxes at Bedford & County Golf Club, Clapham. The club is celebrating its centenary next year and to commemorate the occasion decided they want to put up some nest boxes.

It was cold work today and took nearly 4 hours to put up the 6 boxes. There was still some ice and even small amounts of snow on the ground left from yesterday's snowfall; the chill wind really didn't help.

Malcolm Smith of Cople made 2 large boxes, designed for Barn Owls, 2 for Kestrels and 2 for Stock Doves. It is hoped to put up 20 small boxes in the New Year, which are due to be made by a local Upper School. Malcolm makes garden furniture (see price list and bird table photo) and these were the first large nest boxes he had made - designs were chosen from the BTO Nestbox guide. If you want to order any nest boxes or garden furniture from Malcolm, please call him on 07866 788810. Cople is between Bedford and Sandy, 10 mins drive from the A1.

Thank you to Malcolm Smith for making the boxes, to the Bedford & County Golf Club for providing the finance, to John Sinclair for getting agreement within the club for the project, to Head Greenkeeper Geoff Fenn for transporting the boxes and other equipment today and for his help, last but not least thanks to Tom Sinclair for his sterling work in the trees.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

November round-up

November has been interesting, but also challenging. Strong winds have either prevented ringing on some occasions, or restricted what had been planned. With the leaves fast coming off the trees, some sites are becoming more exposed to the wind and less attractive to birds. The numbers of birds ringed and the variety of species handled hides several sessions that resulted in no birds processed or just a few.

During this month, I've ringed at Bromham Mill, Bedfordshire Golf Club at Stagsden, Harrold-Odell Country Park and Marston Vale Millennium Country Park. The total numbers of birds ringed during these sessions are listed below, with retraps shown in brackets.

  • Great Spotted Woodpecker 1

  • Wren 8 (+2)

  • Dunnock (+1)

  • Robin 1 (+1)

  • Blackbird 1

  • Cetti's Warbler 4 (+1)

  • Blackcap 1

  • Bearded Tit 1

  • Long-tailed Tit 7

  • Coal Tit (+2)

  • Blue Tit 47 (+7)

  • Great Tit 14 (+3)

  • Nuthatch 2

  • Chaffinch 1

  • Goldfinch 3

  • Reed Bunting 10

  • Total 101 (+17), Grand Total of 118 birds of 16 species
Most of the retraps were birds ringed this summer or autumn; the two exceptions to this were:

  • A Great Tit ringed at Bromham Mill on 7/12/10 and retrapped for the first time since then on 12/11/11.

  • A Great Tit ringed at Bedfordshire Golf Club, Stagsden, on 26/10/10 and retrapped there on 20/11/11.

Thank you to the other ringers and helpers for their assistance during November. Let's hope the weather allows us to get out and about during December.