Saturday, 29 December 2012

Brackenhurst, Thursday 27 December

It was nice to get in a decent session at Brack this morning - at the third time of asking in the last month. It was mild, calm and overcast at first, but there was a frost in Orwin's. A good sized team of Tina, Simon, Emma, Gary, Ewan, Duncan & myself, meant we could also put up nets in Orwin's.

The total catch of 71 birds of 12 species was spread across the morning til midday when we packed up. No Tree Sparrows this time, but they may have been put off by the first Sparrowhawk of the winter. Most of the Chaffinches were netted in Orwin's in response to the sound lure; something we'd not tried in the daytime before (thanks Ewan). All the retraps were from the last two winters bar two male Chaffinches, which would have been born no later than 2006. Also, a Blue Tit that was ringed in nestbox 89 on the estate this year was caught at both sites during the morning.

Totals were (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Wren 1/0, Robin 0/2, Dunnock 1/1, Long-tailed Tit 0/10, Blue Tit 1/12, Great Tit 3/8, Chaffinch 18/4, Yellowhammer 5/1, Reed Bunting 1/0.

It was quiet on the bird front, but there was a flock of 100 Fieldfare knocking around and Ewan picked up some Waxwings passing overhead. Also, there were two deer that thankfully kept away from the nets.


 Emma holding the first bird she ever put a ring on. A pretty good start... (top Simon Taylor, bottom Gary Goddard)

A remarkable male Yellowhammer with virtually no dark markings on its head. (top Simon Taylor, bottom Gary Goddard)

A particularly fiery male Goldcrest. Females show only yellow in the crown. (Gary Goddard)

Monday, 24 December 2012

SNRG Christmas Party

We celebrated in style this Christmas Eve by gathering in the dark at Brackenhurst and standing around in a dark, muddy, rainy field until the sun didn't come up. Good biscuits, much needed coffee, a Woodcock flushed from Orwin's but no nets up...

Happy Christmas ringers everywhere!


PS this is what it's all about:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Garden Ringing 2

Waxwings did not take a lot of finding this morning, they came to me. With over 40 in a tree near the back garden thought I had better get a net up.

The birds dropped onto the Honeysuckle and Pyracantha berries in the garden several times and I was lucky enough to catch just one, a new bird ringed in the garden.

By 3pm the flock had grown to over 100 birds sitting in the trees on Queen's drive just a short distance
from the garden and as Waxwings usually keep coming back to the same bushes to feed until all the berries have gone tomorrow could be an interesting day.


Garden Ringing

Spent quite a lot of the day looking for Waxwings with no joy. So put a net up in the garden as there were quite a few Blackirds on the berries, caught a Greenfinch and as I was taking it out of the net could hear Waxwings calling close by. Got my bins to have a look at them just across the road and then this hit the net and luckily stuck this time. That's the second I have caught in the garden.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Brackenhurst, Sunday 9 December

I suppose with a team of seven ringers one could have almost predicted a lack of birds at Brack today. We arrived in the dark to greater than predicted blustery winds and showers. Once the rain had passed we set the nets but the wind was clearly putting the birds off and was also increasing, so we called it a day at 09:00am.

Totals were (new/retraps): Robin 0/2, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 0/1, Tree Sparrow 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Granby, Sunday 2 December

Another frosty morning at Granby, but the bright, calm weather took the edge off the cold for some of us. Trapping was steady through the morning, and then dropped off when it got brighter and we finished 12ish. Despite no longer using peanuts in the bait Great Tits, again, accounted for about two-fifths of the catch. We caught the first three Yellowhammers of the winter, and it was nice to see Redwing & Greenfinch in the hand again. However, the star bird had to be the Jay which is only the second for the site and the first since 2004!

The best of the retraps was a Chaffinch from 2006, Blue Tit from 2008 and a young Great Tit from an adjacent nest box.

Totals were (new/retraps): Robin 0/4, Dunnock 1/0, Blue Tit 4/5, Great Tit 1/18, Jay 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Redwing 1/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 7/1, Yellowhammer 3/0.


 The Jay happened to be the first bird Peter has fitted a ring to. (photos x3 Simon Taylor)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Mick P and I managed to open our Waxwing ringing account for the winter today.

I've been tracking them for the last 3 weeks and finally found some that I thought were worth netting, so after a quick phone call, Mick joined me and we gave it a go.

Despite the heavy rain at times we managed to catch 5 birds. That's a start for the winter, I will keep tracking them and have another go soon.


Monday, 3 December 2012

Rushcliffe Country Park, Sunday 2 December

Just Tom and myself made it to RCP on Sunday morning when the tempreature was minus 3.5 and there was a hard frost. A big thankyou to Mick T who had put the heater on in the hut for us and we waited for a few minutes in the warm for it to get light and went and set the usual nets.

First net round produced 19 birds but I knew it would get slower after that, however we did keep dragging ourselves out of the warm hut to check the nets.

We finished on 46 birds caught (21 new and 25 retrap) and did get the first Siskin and Coal Tit of the winter.

The catch was (new/retrap): Chaffinch 12/8, Reed Bunting 1/3, Great Tit 4/8, Blue Tit 2/4, Siskin 1/0, Coal Tit 1/0 and Robin 0/2.