Monday, 31 January 2011

Chalton STW 30th January 2011

Only Mike, Roy and myself were present, but, not expecting too much as the feeding station had been moved yesterday. This is because National Grid are carrying out work to cables in the vicinity of the previous site.

However, 27 birds were caught of 8 species. Ringed(retrapped)

Blackbird 1(0)
Blue Tit 4(2)
Great Tit 2(4)
Grey Wagtail 2(0)
Mallard 1(0)
Pied Wagtail 4(0)
Robin 1(0)
Wren 0(1)

The Mallard is the first for the site. One of the Great Tits was ringed 13/11/2005 and another was a pullus of last year.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Chalton STW 23 January 2011

A slightly damp start but didn't do too bad for our first visit of 2011. A Green Sandpiper was heard calling on arrival.

24 birds caught of 8 species. ringed(retrap)

Blue Tit 4(2)
Great Tit 3(7)
Carrion Crow 1(0)
Chaffinch 1(0)
Dunnock 2(1)
Long-tailed Tit 0(1)
Magpie 1(0)
Robin 0(1)

Monday, 17 January 2011

Stockgrove CP 16 January 2011

First session for some time. Luckily, we were out of the wind a bit at this site.Even so we didn't do too bad with 42 birds caught including 3 retraps.

They were as follows New (retraps)

Marsh Tit 1 (0)
Coal Tit 2 (0)
Blue Tit 13(1)
Great Tit 20(3)
Chaffinch 2 (0)

One of the Great Tit being ring in February 2008

Saturday, 15 January 2011

High water at Bromham Mill

The water level in the River Great Ouse at Bromham was very high today. The volume going over the Bromham Weir and through the old bridge at Bromham was formidable. Likewise through the Mill. The rain and cloud has given milder weather, with the ground very soft.

Photos: Water boiling out of Bromham Mill (top left); Great Tit (top right); Flooding through Bromham Bridge (bpttom right)

A flock of 30+ Siskins were actively feeding in the Alders, at times breaking off to fly round in a tight-knit group calling to each other. A few dropped to drink from puddles. A Heron was by the river. Goldcrests were calling on site.

Despite all the above activity, only 2 birds were ringed today (1 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit), while 1 Great Tit was retrapped. Birds are canny creatures and they will exploit food sources, but when exhausted rapidly move on to other sites. I had filled the seed feeder on Monday, but by today it was empty - hence so few birds ringed.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Early session at Bromham Mill

Short session first thing at Bromham Mill on 10th January. A nice sunny morning, the ground was crunchy (not fully frozen).

13 new birds ringed with no retraps:
  • Blackbird 1
  • Blue Tit 7
  • Great Tit 4
  • Robin 1

A photo of Blue Tit L302968 is shown here. A Heron was feeding by the River Ouse. Several Cormorants flew over. A few Siskins passed through. Two Marsh Tits came to the bird feeders. A small group of Redwings were in the trees as I left.

Fat Robins at Cardington, 9th January 2011

A short session at Cardington, with nets open from 10:30am until 1pm. There was still some frost and puddles were frozen (see right), the sun was burning the frost off and the streams were flowing. Not too many birds around, there were fewer Fieldfares in the area than the previous week, 1 or 2 Goldcrests in the bushes, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker calling.

Totals for the session were as follows (retraps in brackets):
  • Blue Tit 1 (2)
  • Goldfinch 2
  • Great Tit 3
  • Long-tailed Tit (1)
  • Robin (2)
The retraps included 3 birds initially ringed in the autumn of 2009 (1 Robin and 2 Blue Tits).

Both retrap Robins were above the maximum expected by the IPMR software - which expects the maximum weight for a Robin to be 24.5g:
  • P546652 had fledged in 2009. It was ringed on 31/8/9 and weighed 19.6g. When retrapped on 9/1/11 it weighed 25.6g.

  • P546799 was ringed on 28/11/10, but was not weighed that day. When retrapped on 9/1/11 it weighed 26.9g.
The two species that appear to be putting on more weight than any others are Robin and Dunnock. Perhaps I should stop offering sunflower hearts, but provide a less-energy packed food instead.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Priory totals for 2010

All newly ringed birds plus "incomers" in brackets.

Mute Swan (2), Pochard (1), Red Kite (1), Woodpigeon 1 (1), Green Woodpecker 1, Gt. Spotted Woodpecker 4, Wren 33, Dunnock 39, Robin 29, Blackbird 53, Song Thrush 14, Redwing 9, Sedge Warbler 3, Reed Warbler 37, Lesser Whitethroat 3, C.Whitethroat 29, Garden Warbler 27, Blackcap 97, Chiffchaff 39, Willow Warbler 6, Goldcrest 7, Long-tailed Tit 15, Marsh Tit 2, Coal Tit 1, Blue Tit 79 + 117 pulli, Great Tit 55 + 73 pulli, Treecreeper 2, Magpie 1, House Sparrow 4, Chaffinch 23, Greenfinch 9, Goldfinch 9, Bullfinch 10, Reed Bunting 2.

The Marsh Tits were the 2nd & 3rd ever, the Coal Tit was the 1st, the Blackcap total was the 2nd highest (in 20+ years), and this year's total is the highest apart from 2004 when we ringed over 400 Sand Martins.

The Red Kite was identified as an ex Chiltern's pulli released at Harewood, West Yorkshire in 2000, there were at least 3 Dunnocks from 2004, a 2003 male Blackbird ringed the following year and a group record breaking Garden Warbler ringed on its return from Africa in 2003.