Monday, 25 January 2016

Brackenhurst, Wednesday 20 January

Kev, Gary, Jim, Duncan, Kate and Esther very kindly helped to undertake a ringing demonstration for the NTU students at Brackenhurst. Unfortunately, students didn't get much notice about the event but we still had a lot of interest, with many students staying out in the cold with us for a couple of hours!

We had a good steady number of birds, and a nice variety to show the students. Highlights were 16 Yellowhammers (a variety of males and females of different ages, plus plenty of feather mites), a Bullfinch (the twelfth for the site) , a very large Blackbird (probably Scandinavian) and a Siskin (a first for the site!).

We caught 44 birds in total, 20 of which were retraps. Species totals are as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock (1/4), Robin (2/2), Blackbird (2/0), Long-tailed Tit (0/2), Blue Tit (1/0), Great Tit (4/6), Chaffinch (1/1), Siskin (1/0), Bullfinch (1/0) and Yellowhammer (11/5). The best retraps were Yellowhammers from the winters of 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Hopefully we will be doing another demonstration for the Brackenhurst students in February.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Recent recoveries

3 Barn Owl recoveries have come in recently:

- a bird found dead on 7 November in South Muskham had originally been ringed at the nest in Caunton on 8 September
- a bird found injured in Radcliffe-on-Trent on 8 December had been ringed at the nest nearby in Cropwell Bishop in September (unfortunately it was too badly injured and was not released from the vets)
- a bird ringed at the nest in Hathern in September 2014 was found dead on the A6 near Loughborough

A Kestrel, ringed at the nest near Keyworth in June 2015 was found dead in Ashover, Derbyshire on New Year's Day, a movement of over 40km.

A Canada Goose, ringed as part of the University of Nottingham project at Highfields Park, was found near Trent Bridge in the city, where the metal ring was read (by me!) on 17 October 2015. It was originally ringed in June 2011, and was also fitted with a Colour ring, but this appears to have gone.

A Robin, ringed as a 3J near at Ramsdale Park Golf Club in August 2015, was taken by a cat in nearby Calverton on 15 January.

Three Lesser Redpoll (a species often controlled by ringing groups) have been controlled by us:

- a bird ringed at Chobham Common in Surrey in March 2014 was controlled at Bestwood in November (642 days, 190km)
- a bird ringed at Dalchork, Highlands in September 2014 was controlled at Shelton in December (480 days, 607km)
- a bird ringed at Watchtree Nature reserve in Cumbria in July 2015 was controlled at Ramsdale Golf Club in December (136 days, 241km)


Monday, 18 January 2016

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 17 January

Gary, Duncan and I met in the snow at Sutton Bonington in perfect mist netting conditions. We were joined by Nabegh, visiting from his new home in Liverpool and Mike Murray from East Leake who wanted to come along to see what ringing was all about. The first round was quite productive but catches dropped quickly and so we took down a little early. I can’t explain why the catch was so small as the snow cover would usually ensure a decent catch at a feeding site.

We finished on 24 birds including 9 retraps, the species totals were (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/0, Blue Tit 0/3, Great Tit 0/1, Chaffinch 1/2, Goldfinch 1/0, Greenfinch 9/0, Lesser Redpoll 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0, Robin 0/3.

The retraps were all recently ringed birds. A Buzzard was around most of the morning and a few Fieldfares, Skylarks and a Raven passed overhead.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sibthorpe, Sunday 17 January

Perfect ringing conditions have been hard to come by this winter, but this morning was as close as we've been. It was overcast and still and the first snow of the season had fallen overnight. Better still, Jim, Elaine and I enjoyed it from the warmth of their house as we looked onto the garden feeders and two nets with ringside seats.

The birds started going in before sunrise and continued steadily until lunchtime. We finished on 72 (58 new, 14 retrap), broken down as follows: Wren 0/1, Dunnock 4/2, Robin 2/1, Blackbird 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 5/0, Blue Tit 1/2, Great Tit 0/1, House Sparrow 3/1, Chaffinch 1/0, Greenfinch 15/0, Goldfinch 26/6.

One of the Goldfinches was a control - the second for the site in just 4 ringing sessions.

The odd Golden Plover flew over, as did a few thrushes and Skylarks and a single Redpoll was around the feeders but evaded capture.


 Sunrise, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow (Pete Leonard)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 3 January

Gary, Duncan, Alex, Tom and I met for the first 2016 ringing session at Sutton Bonington in fair mist netting conditions this morning. We were expecting an early finish as rain was forecast for later in the morning. The site was unusually quiet and at the first round the nets were empty. The second round produced just a retrap Blue Tit........very odd! The third round did give us a few birds but by then (0915) the rain had started early, this catch gave us 5 Goldfinch and a Greenfinch. As we were processing these a female Sparrowhawk was spotted in the top shelf of one of the nets but of course it had extracted itself before we were able to get to it. We took down and headed for home in the rain, again.