Sunday, 30 November 2014

Brackenhurst, Sunday 30 November

A fine, bright sunrise met us this morning at Brackenhurst to herald in St Andrew's Day. We were nine (I thought about holding the AGM!) and included Alex, David Roberts, Duncan, Gary, a resurgent Libby, Nick, Sue, Tom and myself. The weather stayed bright and dry and backed up to a north easterly breeze as forecast. When will it get cold enough for all the trees to shed their leaves? I think we have enough leaf extracting experience now.

Catching was slow at the feeders, but nice to have the first four Yellowhammers of the winter. The weather needs to get harder to bring them in greater numbers. Orwin's again produced a large tit flock with 26 birds in one net round. This included 14 retrapped Long-tailed Tits of which half were from the last two winters. A small sample, but maybe indicative of higher survival rates with very recent milder winters. All the other retraps are from the same time frame.

Captures were (new/retraps) 81(39/42): Blackbird 1/0, Blue Tit 5/5, Chaffinch 9/2, Dunnock 1/1, Goldcrest 0/1, Greater Spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Great Tit 6/17, Long-tailed Tit 0/14, Redwing 7/0, Robin 2/2, Tree Sparrow 1/0, Wren 2/0, Yellowhammer 4/0.


Great Spotted Woodpecker (Alex Phillips)

Goldcrest (Libby Welbourn) 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Tawny Owl recovery

Back in 2005, Jim ringed a brood of 5 Tawny Owls in a box in Plungar - still the only brood of 5 he's ringed. One of these chicks has just been found sick in Orston and handed into a Bingham vet 9 years later!

 The original brood in 2005 (JL)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Recent Recoveries

We have had some more birds controlled by others over the past few months, as well as a number controlled by SNRG members.

A couple of non-barn owls first: a cormorant which was ringed as a chick in April last year was reported from its colour rings at Priory Water near Melton Mowbray in October this year. The colour rings must be distinctive as it has also been sighted at Cossington a couple of times in March and September.

A Sand Martin, ringed as an adult in May this year near Ratcliffe-on-Soar was controlled by us at Newthorpe a month later.

And 7 individual Barn Owls:

One ringed in Bunny as a chick in July 2011 was found dead as a road casualty in nearby Wymeswold this October.

A bird ringed as a chick in Collingham in August 2012 was retrapped by North Notts RG in Sutton-on-Trent 2 years later in August 2014.

North Notts controlled another bird in Sutton-on-Trent that was ringed by SNRG, just over the river in Girton as an adult in September 2010. They retrapped it twice, once in June this year and again in August.

Barn Owls we have controlled include -

A bird in Muston in May this year, which was ringed as a chick in Lincolnshire in June 2011.

Another May bird in Muston which had travelled all the way from Suffolk where it was ringed as a chick in August 2013. Normal barn owl recoveries are local birds, but this one is from 136km away, quite a good distance for this species

A bird controlled in June in Girton, had originally been ringed as a chick in near Peterborough in June the previous year.

...and a bird originally ringed in Ruskington Fen Lincolnshire, in September 2013 as a chick, was controlled in Long Clawson in May this year.


Monday, 17 November 2014

Brackenhurst, Sunday 16 November

The forecast held good, being overcast, calm and damp through the morning. Apart from a round of 24 birds in the Orwin's nets, it was pretty quiet with little activity around the feeders. Personally, I think when its really calm birds are less inclined to move about in order to conserve energy. Still we managed to handle 47 birds, which just about kept our team of Kev, Linda, Sue, Gary, Alastair, Emma, Alex and me engaged.

The highlight would be a juvenile Magpie, the first for Brack since we started ringing there in 2008 and an unusual mist net capture. In between times we looked for a lost ram!

The sound lure only attracted two Redwing this time, but probably also accounted for the five 'continental' type Blackbirds. Later we tried a 'crest' lure and this maybe attracted the zephyr of 13 Long-tailed Tits, five of which were ringed last winter.

Captures were (new/retraps) 47 (28/19): Blackbird 5/0, Blue Tit 3/2, Chaffinch 1/1, Dunnock 1/0, Goldcrest 0/1, Great Tit 1/9, Long-tailed Tit 8/5, Magpie 1/0, Redwing 2/0, Tree Sparrow 4/1, Treecreeper 2/0.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Granby, Sunday 8 November

Another first winter visit; this time it was Granby. Our team was myself, Gary, Kev, Alex and Alister Feather from Birklands RG. The weather was calmer than forecast, but rain was expected late morning. In the event, the rain came early and we packed up around 09:30. Despite this we processed 50 birds. Surprisingly, what with the mild weather, we caught 23 birds before we'd got the nets fully open! Species were the usual suspects, but it was good for folks to get their eye in with the 18 Chaffinches we processed. All the retraps had been ringed last winter, bar a Dunnock from 2011. One of the Great Tits had been ringed by Ian in the summer as a pullus in one of the Granby nest boxes.

Captures were (new/retraps) 50 (40/10): Blue Tit 9/4, Chaffinch 17/1, Dunnock 3/1, Great Tit 6/4, Robin 3/0, Tree Sparrow 1/0, Wren 1/0.


Brackenhurst, Saturday 1 November

The forecast held and we managed our first visit to Brack this winter. Our team was Gary, Linda and myself. Though breezy, the nets were reasonably well sheltered, but what with that and the mild autumn, many leaves had to be extracted! The initial visit of the winter is always interesting in seeing the how breeding season has gone for the more common resident species. We set nets at the feeders and in Orwin's where we played a Redwing sound lure.

Overall, we processed 69 birds. About half were tits. As you might expect all the new Great Tits were birds of the year and retraps were from last winter. It looks like they've had a good year. Nine Tree Sparrows was a good total for here, and all appeared to be juvenile types and two of them were still in wing moult, but as we get no retraps one can't be definitive. Orwin's was productive with a charm of Goldfinches in one net and the lure pulling in eight Redwing.

Captures were (new/retraps) 69 (64/5): Blue Tit 10/0, Chaffinch 7/0, Dunnock 1/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Goldfinch 5/0, Great Tit 21/4, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Redwing 8/0, Robin 1/0, Tree Sparrow 9/0, Wren 1/0.


Rushcliffe Community Awards 2014

On Wednesday 12 November, Jim and I, attended the Rushcliffe Community Awards 2014 on behalf of SNRG. We had been nominated again for an award in the Protecting and Enhancing our Environment category by Gordon Dyne.

Unfortunately we did not win, the top award was presented to Gotham Nature Reserve Trust, but we did receive a certificate again in recognition of our work.

Thanks go to Gordon for nominating the group.