Sunday, 28 September 2008

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28/09/08

After two whole days in East Riding and getting back very late friday evening, I got up early on Saturday morning to ring at Priory Country Park. A foggy morning that eventually dissapeared. Several goldfinch were around. Not the most productive day, but a lesser whitethroat donated its biometrics in the name of science!

Sunday's trip to Chalton was even less productive numbers wise, but may have proved constructive for Nicky (a fellow trainee). A couple of meadow pipits and a Goldfinch not ringed on this site (a control) were the best of the day.
Above: A meadow pipit - I have posted a photograph of another m'ipit recently. They are on passage (out of the country) at the moment. Mid-late September is when they usually move.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Work hard, play hard!

This follows my last post re: Mega new species.

Since Wednesday am (24/09/08) I have had non-stop action. Well, strictly speaking, I've had an intense last few weeks (mainly through work!). I haven't had a holiday for several months either so it all started with a last minute call from Mark ( about a ringing trip to Buckton nr. Flamborough (East Riding - I am from North Riding by birth & upbringing until I was 11 yrs old. Familiar accents from my childhood were found amongst the birders/locals!).

Thursday morning we joined 200+ other birders searching for their brown shrike 'tick.' See photographs below for the madness that results when somebody spots an extremely rare species that lands on our shores - the brown shrike should be in China! I only got a good view twice for a total of around 10 seconds through Steve's scope. The bird was showing well, but not where we had permission to be so most views were distant. Around £1000 was raised for a local charity after a whip round. A peregrine flew over at one point and there was also a red backed shrike in the vacinity.

The red breasted flycatcher was my first new species. Some of the photographs I took make it look quite ordinary but it is anything but! I did manage to get a few great pictures of this bird. Pied and spotted flycatchers were seen near the ringing site.

We ringed a few meadow pipits and several juvenile reed buntings amongst a variety of other birds. A Long Eared Owl was twice near the nets but still remains high up on my 'to ring' list (see side bar)! A marsh harrier was seen hunting within 100 yards of us. Several Wheatears on the golf course at Flamborough.

An early start on Friday morning and I picked up my second new species. A juvenile male yellowhammer - a striking bird that has been fairly high on my 'to ring' list but I have never had the opportunity before.

Then came the yellow browed warbler - possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had never even seen one before going to Flamborough! I could say the same about the Red Breasted Flycatcher.

A lot of the migrant birds from the day before would have disappeared during the night (clear skies are good for migration) but an influx of new birds made their way in. We noticed more song thrushes and goldcrests than there were the day before.

In the afternoon we went bird watching. The second last bird we saw was a Radde's warbler - a first for me too. Again there were other birders around (some of them had come for the brown shrike and were either still milling around or had missed that opportunity!) but in far smaller numbers!

The very last bird we saw was a barn owl sat on a fence post in the dark.

Above and below: 10's of thousands of pounds of equipment following the brown shrike (above) and risking annihilation on the road (below).

Above: 2 juvenile reed buntings

Above and below: A meadow pipit

MEGA New Species

An away trip to Buckton, nr. Flamborough was a great experience - a costal site full of migrant species. 3 new species in total.

Above & below: Red Breasted Flycatcher

Above: A juvenile male Yellowhammer.

Above: A Yellow Browed Warbler!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Puzzles are Great!

I've been quite busy with jigsaw puzzles recently as you can see ...

Above: Birds of the Druid Tradition (Owl, Crane, Swan & Wren). It says this on the box: The Druids of ancient Europe saw the islands of Britain as a ver magical place ... they saw themselves as co-existing with their fellow creatures in a relationship of respect. Owls were said to be keepers of wisdom, Cranes were augeries (believing they made letters as they flew). The Swan represented the goddess and the soul and the Wren was most sacred of all. Dryw is the old welsh name for Wren and signifies both Druid and Wren.

Above: National Trust locations and wildlife found at them (including gannets, puffins, little & common terns etc.).

Above: Wildlife of the different seasons.

Above: More wildlife.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A NEW SPECIES 10/09/08

A nice day at Priory Country Park - unusual because we've not been getting good weather recently. A slow start that picked up dramatically and ended up really busy.

Above: A treecreeper. Best of the day. Seen one in the hand before (but not my hand!).

Above: The tail is stiff and pointed to help it balance against the tree - much the same as woodpeckers do.

Above: Treecreeper from the front.

Above: One of two parties of three Long Tailed Tits caught.

Above: Not featured before so I thought I would show you this young Robin.

The One Show

I've been watching The One Show but so far nothing. They bumped us last Friday - that is if they haven't already shown it during August. I'll watch it and carry on taping it for another week or so ... after that I'll give up.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

The One Show

Check out The One Show (BBC1), 7pm on Friday 5th September. You may see me in the background when they do a feature on bird ringing + the cannon netting of wading birds. Of course, you may not get to see me - depends how they edit it!

If I'd have known beforehand that they were filming I would have worn clothes with BTCV emblazoned on them but I guess that would have been one way to make sure I would have been edited out! I was wearing my BTCV Badge but I guess it will have been too small to register on the camera.

Anyway, happy viewing!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Visit to Priory Country Park 03/09/08

An early start today and I was rewarded with a Willow Warbler for my efforts.

Above & Below: A Willow Warbler