Monday, 28 January 2013

Reed Bunting recovery

A single recovery just through of a Reed Bunting ringed as a juvenile at Holme Pierrepont in July 2011 and found dead 3km away a few days ago.

Rushcliffe Country Park, Sunday 27 January

It was just Gary and me on Sunday for the session at Rushcliffe Country Park. Unlike Saturday, when the weather was good for ringing, Sunday was really too windy, the snow had gone and the catch poor as a result. We did have a potential new trainee come out, Francesca, the slow catching gave us plenty of time to look at the birds and explain what we were doing. We managed to get part way through moving one of the feeders, hopefully Gary will be able to finish off the job this week. Bird wise only two Siskin and three Yellowhammer are worth a mention.


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Fieldfares in Flintham, 22 January

Before the snow magically disappeared in one night, Jim and Gary visited the orchard in Flintham to catch Fieldfares. One bird was unusually snowy...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

2011 Report available

The SNRG 2011 Report is now available. It has been sent to all members, but if any other readers would like a copy, please contact me directly on pleonard at care4free dot net (words used to foil spam robots...).


Monday, 21 January 2013

Bittern update

Rob Hoare called me today to say he sighted a Bittern at Holme Pit, Clifton Grove again this weekend.It was ringed on the left leg and there's a good chance it is the bird Chris caught in 2010. For a photo see here:


Rushcliffe Country Park, Sunday 20 January

Gary, Tom, David, Duncan, Libby and I made a visit to RCP on Sunday. With snow covering the ground for the last couple of days we were on for a large catch, or so we thought. It did not materialise and it is hard to find a reason why catching rates have dropped significantly since December 2011. We had plans to move one of the feeders but decided against doing it today with the ground being frozen and hard to dig! It was particularly unusual, given the weather conditions, not to catch any Reed Buntings. Also of note is the fact we have only caught 3 Yellowhammers this winter and all have been retraps from previous winters. Where are the 1st winter birds? We finished on 40 birds, 18 of which were retraps. The best of the retraps was a Yellowhammer from 2008 and a new Siskin brought a smile to Duncan's face. The full capture list was (new/retrap): Chaffinch 1/0, Blue Tit 4/4, Great Tit 1/5, Blackbird 5/2, Yellowhammer 0/2, Robin 4/4, Dunnock 0/1, Goldfinch 6/0, Siskin 1/0.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Brackenhurst, Saturday 19 January

It's always worth going out in the snow and we knew the morning was going to be good when birds started appearing near the feeders in the half light. We only put up the three feeder nets and within 15 minutes of putting them up we had almost 40 birds.

Yellowhammers were caught in particularly good numbers (50) and Blackbirds were also a feature of every round, though many learnt to escape under the nets. A new species for the site was an adult Stock Dove. We finished on 123 birds processed, broken down as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock 5/2, Yellowhammer 40/10, Blackbird 15/4, Robin 4/7, Chaffinch 5/6, Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1, Blue Tit 2/8, Great Tit 2/6, Reed Bunting 1/0, Stock Dove 1/0, Tree Sparrow 4/0.

All the retraps were from the last two winters with the exception of a Yellowhammer from 2008, and single Chaffinch, Robin & Blue Tit from 2009.

We didn't have time to look out for much else as we were kept so busy, but a few Fieldfares were around and about 20 Lapwing flew over.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Rushcliffe Country Park, Sunday 13 January

Gary, Tom, David, Steve and I made a visit to RCP on Sunday. The cold start to the day with light snow cover made me think we might have a better catch but that thought soon diminished after the first couple of net rounds. We finished on 28 birds, 19 of which were retraps. The best of the retraps were a Chaffinch and Great Tit from 2008. The full capture list was (new/retrap): Chaffinch 0/2, Blue Tit 4/1, Great Tit 0/10, Blackbird 3/0, Reed Bunting 0/2, Robin 1/4, Woodpigeon 1/0.


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Granby, Sunday 13 January

Ian, Duncan and I battled through the snow flurries to Granby this morning. It was nice for the field margins to be firmer and my fears of getting stuck receded. The snow soon stopped and we had watery sunshine for a couple of hours before the fog closed in. It was noticeable we only caught finches & buntings prior to the fog. For the first time that I can recall we caught more Reed Buntings than Yellowhammers. Perhaps another sign that the former is making a bit of a recovery, whereas not encouraging with the Alabamas*. They may still be on the stubbles etc and up to now the weather's being mild. With a week of sub-zero temperatures coming up it'll be interesting to see if we get more Yellowhammers next weekend.

Bar the buntings, we steadily caught 55 birds from the usual suspects. It was half 'n half between new and retrap birds. The only retraps of note were a 7 year old female Chaffinch that had not been caught since it's original ringing on 22/01/2006, and a Blue Tit from 2008. Totals were (new/retraps): Blackbird 4/0, Robin 3/3, Dunnock 4/1, Blue Tit 2/6, Great Tit 3/15, Chaffinch 7/1, Reed Bunting 4/0, Yellowhammer 1/1.


* In case you were wondering . . . the Yellowhammer State. During the Civil War a company of Alabama soldiers decked their uniforms with yellow trimmings that resembled the wing patches of the  yellowhammer, the state bird (Northern Flicker).

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Rushcliffe Country Park, Sunday 6 January

Gary, Tom, David and I made a visit to RCP on Sunday. We thought we were having a slow morning but now realise we were doing quite well compared to the catch Jim and Pete had at Brack. We finished on 26 birds, 14 of which were retraps. The best of the retraps was a Reed Bunting from 2006. The full capture list was (new/retrap): Chaffinch 2/1, Blue Tit 2/1, Yellowhammer 0/1, Great Tit 4/8, Blackbird 2/0, Reed Bunting 1/2, Robin 0/1, Goldfinch 1/0.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Brackenhurst, Sunday 6 January

A bit like anglers, ringers always have an excuse. We had two this morning: it was too mild and too foggy. Having said that, catching only 7 birds was still only just one per ringer... Nevertheless, the company was good, the sunrise pretty, the hands not too cold and the few birds we caught were interesting. First out of the nets was an adult Redwing and soon after a young Jay - the third of the season. Before that the last was in 2004 so it shows the unusual numbers that are around this year. Full listings as follows (new/retrap): Redwing 1/0, Jay 1/0, Bullfinch 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Great Tit 1/0, Robin 0/1.

Away from the nets we counted over 200 Pink-footed Geese heading NW-ish above the mist (has the warm weather prompted them to leave Norfolk?) and a flock of about 10 Siskin stubbornly refused to go near the nets. A single Redpoll, a few Meadow Pipits and a regular trickle of Redwing and Fieldfare were overhead and two Woodcock were flushed in Orwin's. Wrens, Dunnocks, Robins and a Coal Tit were all singing and as we've all noted, the mild weather has encourged quite a few insects out.


(all pics PML)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Recent Recoveries

A good number of recoveries and controls this time round with a variety of species. Controls included:
  • a juvenile Chiffchaff ringed by Sorby Breck RG in August 2012 was caught one month later at Bestwood
  • a juvenile Reed Warbler ringed at Icklesham in August 2010 was caught at Holme Pierrepont in July 2012
  • a juvenile Blackcap ringed in Wanlip, Leicestershire in July 2010 was caught at Holme Pierrepont in September 2012
  • a juvenile Blackcap ringed at Icklesham in September 2010 was caught also at Holme Pierrepont in September 2012
  • a Yellowhammer ringed as a 5 in Flintham in February 2011 was caught in March 2012 at Granby
  • a juvenile Reed Warbler ringed at Holme Pierrepont in July 2012 was caught one month later at Rutland

As usual, Barn Owls featured heavily:
  •  a chick ringed in Lincolnshire in July 2009 was caught again in the same area in July 2012
  •  a chick ringed in Caunton in May 2011 was caught at 6km away in Newark in June 2012
  • a chick ringed in Normanton in July 2011 was caught 18km away in Hathern in September 2012 along with a nestmate ringed on the same day which turned up 21km away in Southall, also in September 2012
  • a chick ringed in Calverton in May 2012 was found dead in the same area in September 2012
  • an adult ringed in Girton in June 2011 was hit by a car 6km away in Carlton in November 2012

The remaining recoveries were as follows:
  • a Great Tit ringed as a youngster in Nottingham in May 2012 was taken by a Sparrowhawk the following month
  • a Moorhen ringed as a 5 at Rushcliffe Country Park was discovered dead 10km away in Sandiacre in September 2012
  • a Goldfinch ringed as a 5 at Rushcliffe Country Park in November 2011 was hit by a car in Ruddington in November 2012
  • a Tawny Owl ringed as a youngster in Newark in May 2011 was found dead in a nearby building in November 2012
  • an adult Reed Bunting ringed at Holme Pierrepont in April 2011 was discovered dead by myself and Chris when we spent some time nestfinding at the same site in May 2012
  • an adult Greenfinch which I ringed in my garden at Cropwell Butler in May 2012 was found dead on the other side of the village only a few days later (not sure if it was significant, but many of this species I handled this summer sadly appeared to be showing signs of trichomoniasis)
As always, it is really interesting to see where our birds come from, where they go and where they end their lives.


Granby, Sunday 30 December 2012

Duncan, Ruth, Jim and I arrived at Granby with a spring in our step as the rain had finally stopped. Unfortunately the wind hadn't and this had quite an impact on our catch with only 18 birds processed as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/1; Chaffinch 2/1; Blue Tit 2/2; Great Tit 2/2; Robin 1/2; Sparrowhawk 1/0.

The Sparrowhawk was a late goal in extra time as we were about to take down when it went in. The retrap Chaffinch was perhaps the most interesting, having been ringed as a 5M on 30-01-05, making it more than 8 years old.

Other sightings included a Peregrine drifting over, 2 Ravens, a Heron and about 8 Cormorants overhead (well the whole country looks like a chain of gravel pits at the moment...) but not much else and winter thrushes and Yellowhammers were all thin on the ground. 


(all pics PML)