Sunday, 14 April 2013

A bit of Green & Red

Quality rather than quantity at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve yesterday before the wind stopped all ringing for the weekend (again).

7 captures:

Blue Tit = 1 retrap
Dunnock = 1 new
Chaffinch = 2 retraps
Green Woodpecker = 1 new
Goldfinch = 1 new
Coal Tit = 1 new

Above: An adult male Green Woodpecker

Above & Below: That same Green Woodpecker. I do think they are marvelous birds. The red in the malar strip (below the eye, surrounded by black) makes this a male.

I love these close up head photographs of birds in 'the ringers grip'. They make great computer backgrounds!

The last two weekends, I've seen the Green Woodpeckers bombing around chasing each other all over the place, high and low, through the trees, over the grassland, onto the BT poles. It's either a terratorial thing (e.g. male chasing male) and/or a breeding thing (e.g. male chasing female).

Above & Below: A Goldfinch. The facial red showing behind the eye and black nasal hairs make it a male. I mentioned in my last post it was nice to catch the first two of the year & this was the third.

I didn't take a photograph of it but the final bit of quality was a new Coal Tit. A Chiff Chaff was singing briefly from the tops of the trees and a lone swallow was seen heading east but that was it for summer migrants. Elsewhere on the reserve a Yellowhammer was hanging around. Some Fieldfare (around 20) were also knocking around.

Unless I get some recoveries through, my next post will be in a few weeks time with photographs from Sardinia and/or CES ringing sessions news as the new season starts when I get back. Perhaps there will be a lot more summer migrants around and the wind will have died down by then?

Friday, 12 April 2013

Long tails, red wings and a bit of movement

Recent ringing at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve has been largely quiet. Whilst a lot of feeding stations across the country are experiencing a large number of Redpolls, Siskins & Bramblings visiting them, mine are fairly empty (with none of the species just mentioned). It must be about Location, Location, Location, well that's how I've rationalised it!

Still, the effort has been worthwhile with:

Above: A controlled Long Tailed Tit. Presumably ringed locally (but a longer distance movement can't be ruled out). Hopefully I'll find out soon where it was ringed.

Above: A Redwing - a new species ringed at SSNR. Just the one was caught. There is a large push of Redwings & Fieldfare at the moment, migrating back towards the east/north east as they disappear back to their breeding grounds.

It was also good to ring the first two Goldfinch of the year (there has been a distinct lack of Goldfinch at my feeders for much of the last year).

Final news is of a ringing report that reached me of a Great Tit ringed on 04/10/11 at SSNR and was recaptured at Chalton by another IRG ringer, Graham, 173 days later on 25/03/12. A movement of 14km SW.

Our early summer migrants that come to Britain to breed have been somewhat delayed by the cold weather. Still, they've started to trickle in so there's hope to catch some this weekend (if the weather is ok). I saw a lonely Swallow last night at SSNR - there are definitely more to come!