Saturday, 25 June 2011

Special Mission

With relevent permissions and a ringer with the correct license, I went on a special mission today: to ring a peregrine juvenile.

Above & Below: This peregrine is a male based on it's small size.

A first for me and a great experience!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Recovery at last!

My first ringing recovery (i.e. a bird I ringed found elsewhere).

A female Great Tit (ring number L098462) ringed at my dad's house in the Cotswolds, found freshly dead 496 days later on 14th May 2011 at Chedworth, Gloucestershire, 8km away.

I'm pleased as I was beginning to think I was doing something wrong!

Another 100+ weekend

Priory Country Park CES Visit 5: 48 birds of 13 species (retraps in brackets):

Whitethroat 3 (2)
Robin 3 (1)
Wren 3 (1)
Chaffinch 1 (1)
Dunnock 2 (2)
Blue Tit 3 (0)
Blackcap 3 (1)
Marsh Tit 1 (0)
Great Tit 5 (1)
Chiff Chaff 1 (0)
Bullfinch 0 (1)
Reed Warbler 2 (0)
Long Tailed Tit 9 (2)

Above: Marsh Tit (only the 4th of this species ringed at Priory CP).

Above: Thanks to Dave Kramer for this photograph of me exhaling after a net round with 20birds.

Thanks to John Anderson for scribing whilst we were processing a large 'tit flock', and to Dave Barnes and Dave Kramer and John again for helping David and myself release all the long tailed tits at the same time so that the family party remained together.

The good numbers on CES seem to be holding up - so long as a passing tit flock leaves behind a good few members of its party!

Sandy Smith Nature Reserve - 19/06/11

64 birds of 14 species: (retraps in brackets)

Great Tit 12 (6)
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (1)
Blackbird 2 (0)
Dunnock 0 (3)
Wren 0 (1)
Chaffinch 1 (3)
Blue Tit 7 (2)
Sedge Warbler 0 (1)
Whitethroat 7 (6)
Chiff Chaff 4 (1)
Garden Warbler 1 (0)
Goldfinch 3 (0)
Grasshopper Warbler 0 (1)
Willow Warbler 1 (0)

Priory Country Park CES visit 5 - 18/06/11

Above: A juvenile Great Spotted Warbler.

Above: Adult female Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Green Wood Ringer strikes!

My first self caught Green Woodpecker!

The red in the malar stripe (below the eye) makes this a male.

Seeing a Green Woodpecker in the hand was one of my main motivations to become a bird ringer. I can't count the number of times I've seen one and willed it to go in the net!

As it flies away from you, laughing, the flash of green sticks in the memory.

The chance (however small) of someday having another one in the hand will keep me getting up at silly o'clock most weekends for a long, long time! And whilst I'm waiting for the next Green Woodpecker I might catch a few other birds that will put a big smile on my face too.

To see more info on the other birds I caught today (including only the second Coal Tit to be ringed at Priory Country Park) on CES visit 4, please click here.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Juvenile behaviour!

No, not my behavior, or my brothers (for once)! It's the time of year when we start seeing good numbers of juveniles from the early breeders.

SSNR 30/05/11: 21 birds of 8 species (retraps in brackets)

Great Tit 9 (0) - including 6 juveniles
Whitethroat 4 (1) - the retrap being first ringed as an adult June 2010.
Grasshopper Warbler 1 (0) - the 5th this year for this site and the first female
Blackcap 1 (0) - only the third of this species for the site
Dunnock 0 (2)
Chiff Chaff 1 (0)
Sedge Warbler 1 (0)
Great Spotted Woodpecker 0 (1) - A regularly caught male.

SSNR yesterday 04/06/11: 55 birds of 11 species (retraps in brackets)

Blue Tit 4 (3) - all the new birds were juveniles
Great Tit 4 (0) - including 3 juveniles
Whitethroat 6 (3) - one of the retraps being from June 2010
Chaffinch 9 (1) - including 6 juveniles
Goldfinch 7 (2) - including 2 juveniles
Garden Warbler 3 (0) - 2 males and a female (NEW FOR SITE)
Grasshopper Warbler 0 (2) - a pair
Willow Warbler 1 (0) - the first adult caught on site
Blackcap 8 (0) - mostly adult males except 1 adult female and one juvenile
Dunnock 0 (1) - first ringed on 3rd March 2011
Sedge Warbler 0 (1) - a retrap from May 2011

This is not typical of visits to SSNR and it came as a very welcome surprise. I suspect there are a few reasons for this:

1. weather - overcast first thing (lifting but not completely later on) and wind from the east ('light' to start with increasing to 'far too' by the end of the session). Normal = windy and from the west. Perhaps this was partially responsible for catching a lot of blackcaps (rarely ringed here) and the Garden Warblers (where did they come from?!?).

Above: Garden Warbler

2. I've not ringed at this time of year here with a feeding station. Without this, the catch would consist mainly of Warblers.

3. Juveniles - it's that time of year. Blackbirds, Robins, Dunnocks, Whitethroats, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Song Thrushes, Chaffinches, Starlings, Blackcaps - I have seen fledged young of all these species around Bedfordshire. Some examples coming up (all juveniles):

Above: Great Tit

Above: Blue Tit (taken at Priory Country Park).

Above: Robin (taken at Priory Country Park - no juvenile Robins have been caught so far at SSNR).

Above: Blackcap

Above: Goldfinch

Above: Chaffinch