Sunday, 25 September 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 25 September

This morning began with a fly-over Tawny owl and a cup of coffee as we waited for it to get light! There were only four of us initially on what promised to be a good morning according to the Met Office. However, within minutes of getting the nets up it started drizzling and we had to close the nets. In the middle of all this, with the four of us spread out, both Gary and I spotted a Spoonbill flying over and both started screaming to the others to look up. Had there been any other people in the area they might have called the police at this strange behaviour. Anyway, the bird appeared to bank and head towards the A52 pit, but despite Gary's efforts it was not relocated.

Once the rain eased we opened the nets again and managed to catch 20 birds before the tape batteries ran out and the breeze became too strong. The total included 9 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs and single Sedge Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Several of these we managed to show to Archie and family and all his cousins who came along mid-morning for the first time in a while.

The most interest remained with the birding though and also recorded were 30 Black Terns on the lake, 1 Curlew, 1 Hobby, 1 Green Sandpiper, 54 Lapwing, 20 Siskin, 20+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Redpoll, 1 Grey Wagtail and good numbers of waterfowl such as Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon and Shoveler. A few Migrant Hawkers and a single Speckled Wood were the only inverts of note.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 18 September

On Saturday morning the forecast for Sunday morning was fairly grim, so it was a surprise to get on site and find no wind and only scattered clouds. We quickly erected all the usual nets except for 2 that would be close to some folks camping on the site. The weather stayed good throughout and the campers moved, on so mid-morning we put up the other 2 nets. Catching was steady right up to the time we took down, although many of the warbler species seem to have mostly moved on. We ended with 69 birds including 9 retraps. The warblers caught were Blackcap 27, Chiffchaff 11 (plus 1 control), Whitethroat 3, Reed Warbler 1, Garden Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 1. Overhead were a few hirundines and Yellow Wagtails, a few Siskin and a Buzzard.


Trip to Derbyshire

Today myself and Libby made a very early start and journeyed to Ramsley Moor in Derbyshire to meet Sorby Breck Ringing Group members and have a go at catching some Meadow Pipits on migration.

It was great to meet other ringers and study new species in an interesting habitat and Libby and I both managed to get our hands on some much anticipated species (Sparrowhawk and Lesser Redpoll and Goldcrest).

However, with a rather strong wind and rain showers, our catch wasn't in the hundreds as we had hoped and instead we finished on around 60ish birds, 16 of which were Meadow Pipits.

Other birds of note in the area included Yellow Wagtails, Mistle Thrush and a nice flock of Dunlin which narrowly missed the Mipit nets!

Ian B

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mick P in the spotlight

A small slice of fame for Mick & the group here:

It's not all about totalising...

...but it was oddly satisfying when Duncan and I notched up the 101st Barn Owl pullus ringed last night. Especially as it was in a box that the owner thought had 'pigeons' in it. In south Notts and the eastern Vale of Belvoir, it's been an okay year for the Barn Owls, with the number of pullus ringed 50% up on 2010. However, there has been perhaps twice as many control adults as usual with breeding females moving boxes. Presumably this dispersal is down to the hard weather last winter. Elsewhere, the picture is very mixed, with poor or no breeding in the Lincs/Yorks Wolds, but record numbers of second broods in west Lincs. Just two more boxes to check later this month, and that should be it for this year.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 11 September

The forecast was not good but we gave it a go and when we met at the site it was fairly breezy. We persevered and erected all the usual nets, none of them were being blown about too much......but then the wind speed increased. Eventually by 0900 we decided we would have to take all the nets down with a paltry catch of just 14 birds including 4 retraps, half of the birds were warblers. We did hear Wigeon and Siskin so winter approaches.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Wind farm proposal

Seeing as it is in our area and close to Attenborough you may find this interesting:

Monday, 5 September 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 4 September

It was a strange morning, yet enjoyable and productive. We arrived in near perfect conditions - calm and overcast - at which point Ian ordered “a flock of Redstarts please”.

We had ten nets up swiftly, but then almost immediately it started to drizzle. This then came in waves throughout the morning and had us running backwards and forwards opening and closing nets. At 10:30, we threw in the towel and packed up after barely 4 hours of sporadic, damp ringing. (Actually a towel would have been useful at this point.) So it was somewhat incredible that during this period we managed to process 103 birds. It was a good job we had a big team with 9 members present.

Blackcaps made up half the total and we caught all the other common warblers in small numbers with the exception of Sedge. Blue Tit was the only other species caught in any numbers, with 14 new and 1 retrap and the remainder of the catch comprised all the usual suspects.

With the exception of 2 male Redstarts. Well we take our trainees’ requests very seriously you know. Better still, one was an adult and the other a youngster, allowing for useful comparison.

Note the adult’s blacker throat and whiter forehead. Also, its greater coverts are fringed grey and tipped orange, whereas the youngster has just a couple of the innermost feathers like this which it has replaced (barely visible here under the scapulars) and the rest are juvenile - brown, fringed buff.

And the final star of the show was a young Magpie – a species we catch surprisingly rarely.

Not many sightings to report, but 3 Little Egrets drifted over first thing, a Greenshank was heard, good Yellow Wagtail passage was noted and several hundred distant racing pigeons did their best to try to look like something more interesting.


Ian with half his requested flock.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Useful online resource

Just in case you haven't seen this, it's worth bookmarking...