Monday, 13 November 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 12 November

The various weather forecasts tried hard to ruin our visit this week. On Thursday it was going to be calm and dry on Saturday, very windy on Sunday, so I decided to go for Saturday. On Friday morning it was going to rain on Saturday, still windy on Sunday. By Friday early evening it was still going to be raining on Saturday so I cancelled and moved the session to the Sunday despite the windy forecast. When Saturday dawned it was dry, still and overcast, perfect for mist netting, the rain had not materialised. So on Sunday, Maria, Issie, Duncan, Gary and I met at an already breezy site and put up the 3 small nets in the new rides. Then the wind seemed to drop despite the forecast saying it would steadily increase! The wind did start to pick up by the middle of the morning and the nets then filled with leaves.

We did manage a decent catch of 40 including 15 retraps. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/1, Blackbird 2/0, Robin 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Blue Tit 6/6, Great Tit 1/2, Long-tailed Tit 4/4, Goldcrest 2/0, Chaffinch 6/2. The oldest retraps were from 2015. There were a few Yellowhammer around again but they are not interested in the seed yet.

Kev

 Great Spotted Woodpecker (K. Hemsley)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Brackenhurst - Sunday 5 November

Remember, remember... to have the first ringing session of the season at the Brackenhurst feeders today. We weren't really expecting fireworks, but first visits are always a little bit more exciting as you're not sure what’s about or how productive the birds have been over the summer.

Anyway, Mick, myself and, new to the group, Hanna Janiszewska, put up the usual nets at the feeders and Orwin's and over the morning we handled 57 birds of 11 species, which is pretty good for this time of year.

Surprisingly, Chaffinches accounted for 1 in 3 of the birds processed. One was a retrap from 2009, and ringed in the same month eight years ago! However, joy was mixed with sadness as the bird’s legs were badly diseased with a FPV-type infection.

All the tit retraps were adults (11) and all the new birds were juveniles (7), highlighting their site fidelity. The sound lure (til the battery died) brought in four Redwings to Orwin’s. They really like the Lithuanian song this side of Christmas.

Half the overall catch was in the first net round. All ‘n all a decent start to a winter's ringing at Brack.

Species totals were as follows: total captures: 57 (42 new/15 retrap); Dunnock 5/0, Robin 2/0, Blackbird 2/0, Redwing 4/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Blue Tit 4/4, Great Tit 3/7, Treecreeper 1/0, House Sparrow 4/0, Chaffinch 15/3.

The oldest retrap was the chaffinch mentioned above (and another from 2014), but there were also Great Tits from 2013 & 2014 and Long-tailed Tit ringed 2014.

Jim

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 5 November

Trish, Jake, Gary and I made the first visit of the winter to the feeding site today. We put up 3 small nets in the new rides we cut when we baited the newly-sited feeders a couple of weeks ago. We made the first round and one of the first birds out was a Chaffinch with scaly legs. Chaffinch at this site seem to be suffering greatly from this condition, thankfully the rest we caught during the morning were clear. Then the rain started for half an hour or so before the sun came out and a Jay found its way into a net. We ended with a small catch of 25 including 2 retraps which we considered OK for a first attempt in the new location. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Jay 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Blue Tit 7/1, Great Tit 4/1, Long-tailed Tit 4/0, Chaffinch 4/0, Goldfinch 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Blue Tit from 2015. A few Fieldfare passed overhead and there were a few Yellowhammer around.

Kev

Jay (K. Hemsley)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

2016 Report

The 2016 ringing report is now out! If you would like a copy, please email the address at the top of the 'Reports' page - see tab at the top.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Sibthorpe, Monday 30 October

It has been two months since I last ringed in my garden in Sibthorpe, and the calm forecast and a free day encouraged me to have a go. In the event, I was pleased I did as I handled 120 birds of which 108 were new; its a long time since I ringed 100 passerines in a day.

House Sparrows (‘spuggies’) dominated the catch accounting for just over half the birds (69). Next was Goldfinch (16), but I suspect they are local birds and their migrant cousins have not yet appeared. Several of both species were still in post-juvenile moult, which is not that surprising as they have multiple broods and tend to breed late.

Species totals (new/retrap): Wren 1/0, Dunnock 5/1, Robin 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 14/0, Blue Tit 7/0, Great Tit 4/0, House Sparrow 60/9, Goldfinch 14/2. The oldest retrap was a spuggie ringed on Christmas day 2015.

Jim

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Ramsdale Park Golf Course, Monday 16 October

Jim, Gary and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets on an overcast and still morning. It started to rain a little on and off for the first half of the session but it never amounted to much. The strangest thing about the weather was the much reported red sky, a strange atmosphere to ring in but it did not stop the birds finding the nets and with 2 MP3s playing most of the birds were attracted to them.

We were hoping the calm before storm Ophelia arrived would be long enough to allow a full morning session and we were pleased to find the Met Office were a little out on their timings for the wind picking up. We took down just before lunch as the breeze started throwing leaves into the nets.

We ended with a catch which was steady throughout the morning. Ten Redwings were nice as few had been reported so far this month with the winds being predominantly from the west. We ended with a total catch 64 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 5/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Redwing 10/0, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 4/0, Robin 2/1, Blackcap 2/0, Goldcrest 6/0, Blue Tit 8/3, Great Tit 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/1, Bullfinch 2/5, Lesser Redpoll 2/0, Greenfinch 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.

Kev

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 9 October

The plan today was to put up the nets at the site for the last time this year, hopefully catch a few birds and then remove all the poles/guys etc. We ended with the biggest team of the year out and more birds than we expected. Tom, Duncan, Sue, Trish, Jake, Gary and I were joined by Maria and Kate who were out for the first time with the group. We set all the usual nets on a calm but clear morning. We had two MP3 players playing warbler calls. 
 
The catching rate was steady throughout with a little flurry at the end when a few Long-tailed Tits appeared with their usual ‘friends’. The migrant warblers have all gone apart from Blackcap and Chiffchaff, but it was nice to catch 3 Cetti’s Warblers. 
 
We ended with a total catch of 46 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Wren 7/1, Dunnock 5/2, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 5/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Cetti’s Warbler 3/0, Goldcrest 3/2, Blue Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/2, Bullfinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 3/0. 
 
The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Overhead were Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, but no winter thrush movement was noted.
 
Kev
 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 10 September

Alex, Tom, Duncan and I held a ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont. I did not expect a big catch and the Blotts end would probably have produced more - but after the recent car crimes at that end this was considered a safer bet. It was a cool, clear and a little breezy to start but cloud soon rolled in. We put up 11 nets and had two MP3 players going. Catching rate was slow to start and never really picked up, but the breeze did pick up so we took down a little early.

We ended with a total catch of 32 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Wren 1/2, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 3/2, Reed Warbler 3/0, Blackcap 8/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Goldcrest 3/1, Great Tit 3/0, Reed Bunting 2/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2015. Overhead were lots of House Martins and a couple of Swifts were seen about 3 times.

Kev


 Kingfisher (A. Phillips)

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Thursday 7 September

Duncan, Mick and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets and another small line of a 12m and 9m net on an overcast and still morning. The site sounded quiet again and with many of the warblers gone from Holme Pierrepont last weekend we were hoping the small line with Linnet playing on an MP3 would help increase the expected low catch. We had two more MP3s playing warbler calls along the main net line.

We ended up being surprised by the catch which was steady throughout the morning, despite not catching any Linnets! A Jay added a bit of interest early on and a Reed Bunting was a first for the site but the main surprise was the total number of birds, particularly Blackcap and Bullfinch. We ended with a total catch of exactly 100 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Jay 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 24/1, Whitethroat 2/1, Chiffchaff 11/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 14/4, Bullfinch 14/4, Goldfinch 8/0, Greenfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.

Kev

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Recent Recoveries

A number of Barn owl recoveries have come in, following the annual rounds of the nest boxes. Firstly, the more notable ones:

- A bird ringed in Scredington in June 2006 has been controlled in Eaton, Leics, exactly 4000 days after it was ringed.
- A bird ringed at Stathern in 2016 has been controlled further east, near Spalding in July this year.
- A bird originally captured near Salisbury Plain in August 2012, was controlled by the group at a Box at Hawton in May 2016.

And other short-term, more local recoveries:
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Hoveringham in 2014 was controlled at Hawton in June this year.
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Morton in 2016 was controlled at Kneeton in June this year.
- A bird ringed by Birklands RG as a youngster at the Newark Sewage Treatment works in 2014 was controlled at Kirklington in June this year.
- A Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project bird, ringed as a youngster in Keyworth in 2016 was controlled at Widmerpool in June this year.
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Old Dalby in 2016 was controlled at Stathern in May this year.
- A bird ringed as a youngster in Girton in 2016 was controlled at a nearby Box in the same area in June this year.
- A Rushcliffe Barn owl project bird, ringed as a youngster in Hickling in 2016, was controlled at Colston Bassett in June this year.
- Another Rushcliffe Barn owl project bird, ringed as a youngster in Bunny in 2016 was controlled at Stathern in May this year.
- And finally, a bird ringed as a youngster in Normanton in 2016 was found injured by a member of the public in Stamford in August, its fate is unknown.

In other news...

A Kestrel, ringed in Old Dalby as a youngster, has been controlled as an adult at a box near Halam in June this year.

An Attenborough-born Common Tern, ringed in 2011, was seen at Seaforth NR, Merseyside in July this year, having had its ring read in the field.

A Woodpigeon, a bird not ringed in numbers by the group, has been found dead on the roads near Findern, Derby in August. It had originally been ringed in Toton in September 2016

A Sand Martin controlled at the Attenborough colony in July this year had originally been ringed at Redhill Marina by Ratcliffe-on-Soar in 2014.

A Blackcap ringed at Holme Pierrepont in 2015 has been controlled in North Notts, being captured at a site near Cottam in June.

One of the group's Pied Flycatchers, from the nestbox project in Wales, has been controlled at a Box in Shropshire in May this year. It had originally been ringed as a chick in 2016.

One of the many juvenile Starlings ringed in the Meadows in the spring of 2015 was found dying in nearby Wilford in August this year.

And finally a bit of good news - the group has claimed the Goldfinch longevity record, for one of its birds ringed on 23rd May 2007. Unfortunately this bird was found dead, but had travelled down to Devon, where it was picked up and reported in Barnstaple. This is 10 years and 3 months after it was initially ringed in Bingham by old group member John Black (as an age 5 - so it would have been around 11 years old).

It beats the previous record set at the end of last year in Suffolk by just under 3 months (though that bird was controlled so could still be going strong!).

The previous top 3 looked like this:

V451151 First-year Male 28-12-2006 Chelmondiston: 51°59'N 1°12'E (Suffolk)
Caught by ringer 30-12-2016 Chelmondiston: 51°59'N 1°12'E (Suffolk) 0km 10y 0m 2d

N855368 First-year Female 13-03-2002 Parkhead, Sheffield: 53°20'N 1°32'W (South Yorkshire)
Freshly dead 23-06-2010 Sheffield: 53°23'N 1°30'W (South Yorkshire) 8km NNE 8y 3m 10d

T971203 First-year Male 30-11-2005 East Grinstead: 51°6'N 0°0'W (West Sussex)
Freshly dead (injury) 24-01-2014 East Grinstead: c. 51°7'N 0°0'W (West Sussex) 0km 8y 1m 25d

Tom

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 3 September

Duncan, Trish, Jake, Sue, Gary and I went to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. An overcast but still start looked promising but the forecast was for a freshening wind as the morning went on and it did get breezy by the time we finished. Two MP3 players were going but the site seemed quiet after the last few weeks of good catches. We started slowly and it never really picked up. The best bird was certainly a juvenile Grasshopper Warbler that found its way into the top shelf of a four shelf net. This is the first Grasshopper Warbler the group has caught since 2014 and the first at Holme Pierrepont since 2011. When we do catch them it is usually adults in the first half of the summer, the last juvenile we had was in 1996.

We ended with a total catch of 46 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Dunnock 1/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 14/1, Whitethroat 2/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Grasshopper Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 3/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/6, Treecreeper 1/0, Bullfinch 2/2, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was Bullfinch from 2014.

Overhead were plenty of House Martins and a Hobby put on a good show all morning including a fly past just above our heads when we were at the base.

Unfortunately the morning was spoilt by an idiot who thought his needs were greater than anyone else’s. Jake arrived a little after the rest of us and parked his Ford Ka in one of the parking bays just outside the Skylarks gate. At about 10.00 am a man came to find us as he had just witnessed a youth in a black hoodie smashing the window of the Ka and taking something from it. It turned out he had taken a cheap and old sat nav worth next to nothing. Jake knows he should not have left it on show but it was too late by then. Several members of the public were extremely helpful in coming to find us, watching the car when another was looking for us and calling the police and getting a crime number. We would like to thank them for their actions. Jake called the police again when he got to his car but despite one of the members of the public having just seen the culprit further down the lane, and had a description, the police did not really seem interested. There were another 3 cars parked in the bays with Jake’s but his was the only one damaged, perhaps the others would have been targeted if the culprit had not been disturbed.

Kev




Dawn, Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler (S. Lakeman)


Holme Pierrepont, Friday 1 September

Jim, Gary and I held a ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont having had a good catch there the previous week. It was a calm and clear morning with a heavy dew making us all wish we had put our over trousers on! We put up the same nets as last week and had three MP3 players going. Catching started quietly and dropped as the sun got higher. Warblers dominated again but not in the same numbers as the last visit and we ended with a total catch of 40 including 7 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 1/2, Reed Warbler 4/2, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blackcap 10/1, Chiffchaff 3/0, Bullfinch 5/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2014. Overhead were a few Swallows and up to four Buzzards.

Kev

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 27 August

Alex, Gary and I held another ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. A small team again meant we had to limit the number of nets on a clear, still and cold morning, although as the sun got up the temperature rose rapidly. We set a couple of MP3 players going as usual.

Catching started quite well but tapered off as the sun got higher and the numbers of people out for a walk increased. Reed Warbler numbers dipped again this week but Whitethroat and Phylloscopus warbler numbers were similar to last week.

We ended with a total catch of 67 including 7 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/1, Robin 2/0, Reed Warbler 3/1, Blackcap 29/0, Garden Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 8/4, Chiffchaff 4/0, Willow Warbler 1/0, Great Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0.

The oldest retrap was a Whitethroat from 2016. Overhead was pretty quiet just a couple of Buzzard a few Swallows and a Raven.

Kev



A young male Blackcap going through its post-juvenile moult. (A. Phillips)


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Tuesday 22 August

The forecast was for perfect netting conditions, overcast and still. So Duncan, Gary and I decided to make a visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont. The forecast proved to be correct and we set most of the usual nets on a warm, muggy and overcast morning. Not a breath of wind, two MP3 players going but a very quiet site did not bode well.

Catching started slowly but then it picked up and then kept going all morning. At last we caught a party of Long-tailed Tits this summer, only 6 to start but they had a bunch of warblers travelling with them and the same with another three later in the morning. Four new juv (3JJ) Song Thrush were a surprise and may well have been from the same brood.

We ended with a total catch of 86 including 9 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Song Thrush 4/0, Wren 5/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 19/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 12/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Reed Warbler 9/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 9/0, Bullfinch 1/2, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Reed Bunting from 2014. Overhead were Buzzards and a Swift.


Kev

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 20 August

Duncan, Gary and I held a ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. Just a small team so we limited the number of nets and set the two MP3 players going. The weather was quite calm to start but with clear skies we expected the catching rate to drop after the first few rounds and it certainly did.

Reed Warbler and Whitethroat numbers dipped this week and the fall in Phylloscopus warblers mentioned last week continued but Blackcaps were still around in numbers. A couple of Greenfinches was unusual for this site and another juv Goldcrest was nice to catch.

We ended with a total catch of 81 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Wren 1/0, Dunnock 0/1, Robin 2/0, Reed Warbler 6/0, Blackcap 39/1, Garden Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 8/2, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 5/1, Greenfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Overhead were at least 3 Swifts and a couple of Ravens.

Kev

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 13 August

Duncan, Alex, Trish and I made another visit to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont this morning. We were also joined by Jim who came out for a catch up with some ‘small’ birds. It was good to see Jim, having not been out mist-netting with him since we were at Brackenhurst last winter. We put up the same 11 nets we used the previous week and set three MP3 players going with warbler calls. The morning started clear, cool and quite still but the breeze did increase as the morning went on, unfortunately no cloud cover came to help us. Gary also came along later for the middle part of the session.

Catching started very briskly again but dropped as the sun got higher and stronger, again warblers made up the majority of the catch. We ended with a total catch of 108 including 10 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Wren 4/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 32/3, Garden Warbler 3/1, Whitethroat 15/3, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Reed Warbler 19/0, Blue Tit 5/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2016.

Plenty of birds about again, particularly Sylvia warblers but the Phylloscopus warbler numbers have dropped significantly in the last couple of weeks.

Kev

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Thursday 10 August

Duncan and I made a visit to Ramsdale and set the usual line of 8 x 18m nets on a clear but still morning. The site sounded quiet and the vegetation was still wet through from the rain that fell all day on Tuesday. Catching started slowly and never really picked up. Where are all the warblers that were at this site? A female Sparrowhawk added a bit of interest early on. We ended with a total catch of 39 including 3 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 2/1, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 11/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Willow Warbler 0/1, Blue Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 4/0, Linnet 1/0. The oldest retrap was from 2015.

Kev

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 6 August

It was a beautiful, clear and still morning as we put up the nets. I joined Kev, Gary, Trish and Jake for my annual catch-up in the school holidays and having not been to the site for a year I couldn't quite believe how much it had changed with many of the net rides moved because of the increasingly tall trees and shrubs and impenetrable bramble thickets. The site is also getting more and more popular with visitors (birders, dog walkers and the like) so a fair amount of time has to be dedicated to public relations.

Despite the temperature rising fairly swiftly, we caught well until late morning and processed a total of 104 birds including 6 retraps and 1 control Reed Warbler. The total comprised (new/recapture): Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 2/0, Dunnock 3/0, Wren 3/0, Robin 4/0, Blackcap 18/2, Garden Warbler 8/0, Whitethroat 18/1, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 5/0, Willow Warbler 3/0, Reed Warbler 18/1, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 2/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Goldfinch 4/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Bullfinch from 2016.

As well as the good numbers of young warblers, a large flock of Goldfinches was around, a couple of Buzzards were overhead and a handful of Swifts came over. Common Blue Damselflies were abundant and a few Migrant and Brown Hawkers were patrolling. Butterflies were not in huge numbers, but by the time we left around lunchtime, good numbers of Common Blues had started to appear. 

Pete

 A juvenile Goldfinch in full wing moult - once rare, but apparently increasing in frequency. 

 Kingfisher (P. Leonard)
 
 Garden Warbler (P. Leonard) 

 Lesser Whitethroat (P. Leonard) 


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tawny Owls

This species is one SNRG targets and we have some great data. This is highlighted by the interesting piece here: http://btoringing.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/who-gives-hoot.html

Recent Recoveries

A range of recoveries have been filtering through during the summer months. Starting, as is the tradition, with the Barn Owls:

- A bird ringed in Greasley as an adult in 2012, has been controlled by Sorby Breck ringers at Hardwick Hall in May this year.

- A bird ringed as a chick in Cropwell Bishop in June last year, was retrapped at Lambley this June.

- A bird ringed in Girton last September, was found dead on the railway line at Collingham in July.

- A bird was found dead in Bathley, having hit a window, in July. It had been ringed as a youngster in the village in June last year.

- And finally, a bit of an oldie, a bird ringed as a chick in Tollerton in 2006, was retrapped at Hockerton near Newark in June this year, 11 years on.

Another oldie, a Tawny Owl, was captured at the nest in Flintham in May. This bird has originally been ringed 11 years previously as an adult in 2006, and was also retrapped in 2013.

A Little Owl originally ringed in Hoby, Leics in 2013 as a chick, has been controlled at a box at Tithby for a second time, in June this year. It was also found breeding here in 2014. Unfortunately the last two seasons have seen the owls in this box fail to raise a brood.

A Mute Swan, Colour-ringed by Sorby Breck ringers in Markeaton in August 2010, had its colour rings read at Attenborough in June this year. An old Mute Swan recovery has also come through, concerning another Sorby Breck bird that was ringed at Ilkeston in July 2007, and noted by SNRG in Cossall in March 2010.

A Blackcap ringed as a 3J at Holme Pierrepont in July 2016 has been found dead in Bawburgh, Norfolk, in June this year.

Finally, a number of Sand Martin recovery details have come through from birds controlled at the Attenborough breeding colony:

- 2 birds were controlled on 25 May, one had been ringed locally at Redhill Marina in May 2014. The other had been ringed a little further away in Petit Matton, Charente-maritime in France, in August 2015.

- 3 birds were controlled on 21 June. One had been ringed as a chick at a colony in Thornton, by Charnwood Ringing Group in 2015. Another had been ringed as a chick at a colony at Brandon Marsh in May 2016 by the ringing group there. And the final bird had been ringed in Ely as a chick in June 2016.

Tom


Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 29 July

Duncan, Gary and I made the second visit of the year to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont this morning. We put up the 8 nets we cleared rides for on the last visit. The morning started clear and breezy and the breeze was increasing as the morning went on, but some cloud cover later helped. We did take down one net early because of the wind.

Catching started briskly again but dropped after the first round. Warblers made up the majority of the catch as usual but surprisingly the warbler species with the highest total for the morning was Garden Warbler, with 16 individuals caught.

We ended with a total catch of 72 including 3 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Dunnock 1/0, Wren 3/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 11/0, Garden Warbler 15/1, Whitethroat 5/0, Chiffchaff 8/0, Willow Warbler 5/0, Reed Warbler 11/2, Blue Tit 4/0, Great Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 1/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds. Plenty of birds about again and only the breeze stopped us having a bigger catch.

Kev

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Nest recording

It's been said before that we aren't a Group driven by totals and numbers, but we do recognise that if more records are submitted and analysed then more accurate and thorough information is produced.

So one total we can be proud of, according to Lifecycle magazine, is the number of nest records we are submitting to the BTO.



Following the monitoring of a Tree sparrow colony from 2004 to its final demise in 2010, the number of our nest submissions fell but since 2014 they have been increasing.

The two main reasons for this are that we now submit more nest records for the large nest boxes we check, and the work of Kev and Phil at a Sand Martin colony in the newly created artificial Sand Martin bank at Attenborough Nature Reserve.

The table of nest record contributors published in Lifecycle shows that we are still way behind other Groups and individuals who submit nest records but we are happy that we are contributing meaningful data to the BTO.

Mick P

Monday, 24 July 2017

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Sunday 23 July

Duncan, Alex, Tom, Sue, Trish, Jake, Gary and I made another visit to Ramsdale this morning. Holme Pierrepont was not an option this week because of the Triathlon event that was taking place there. Heavy overnight rain had soaked the vegetation but by the time we arrived on site the rain had stopped and there was very little breeze with generally overcast skies. Wet vegetation always seems to reduce bird activity but the site did seem quiet anyway.

We set the standard 8 x 18m nets pretty quickly with the large team but ended with a less than expected catch of 47 birds including 3 retraps. These were made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 4/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 10/1, Garden Warbler 0/1, Chiffchaff 10/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 2/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Linnet 5/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Bullfinch 2/0. The oldest retraps were from 2015.

Kev

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 16 July

Tom, Trish, Gary and I made the first visit of the year to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. Only a small team again this year for the first visit so with all the very overgrown rides to clear we put up just 8 nets on an overcast but very humid morning.

Catching started briskly and continued for the first few net rounds. We ended with a catch of 87 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 4/0, Song Thrush 2/0, Dunnock 1/0, Wren 2/1, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 19/2, Garden Warbler 3/1, Whitethroat 6/1, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 3/1, Willow Warbler 6/0, Reed Warbler 19/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 3/0, Bullfinch 2/2.

The oldest retraps were a Blackcap and a Garden Warbler from 2015. Plenty of birds about and with a full complement of nets up and a larger team I’m sure we would have caught well over the 100 mark in this very public site. A few of the passing public did stop by for a chat and look at what we were doing, the Kingfisher providing the usual interest.

Kev


 Kingfisher and Six-spot Burnet moth (T. Shields)

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 9 July

Another visit to Grange end of Holme Pierrepont was made today. The weather was perfect for the first half of the session and the nets were catching well but then the sun came out and the catch dropped dramatically.

The team consisted of Gary, Sue, Tom, Jake and myself. We ended with a catch of 75 including 15 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/1, Wren 4/1, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 0/2, Blackcap 18/0, Garden Warbler 4/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 5/1, Reed Warbler 12/5, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/2, Goldfinch 1/0, Bullfinch 4/3.

The oldest retrap was a Reed Warbler from 2012 that we had not caught since it was originally ringed. Willow Warblers were evident after being absent last week.

Kev

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre, Friday 7 July

Duncan, Gary and I made the second visit of the year to Ramsdale. The weather was not ideal with clear skies and a bit of a breeze. Not sure if this was the only reason, but we did have a lower catch than expected - 41 birds including 5 retraps. These were made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Wren 5/0, Dunnock 2/2, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 3/1, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 15/2, Whitethroat 1/0, Great Tit 1/0, Linnet 1/0, Bullfinch 4/0. The oldest retraps were from 2015.

Kev

Attenborough, Weds 5 July

Phil, Mick and I held another session to catch the adult Sand Martins. After the session Phil looked at the results and his report is below.

Kev

43 birds caught, 28 of which were adults. The total number of adults caught this year is now 93, which exceeds the estimated number of breeding pairs (first brood). With the number of retrapped adults again being very low, it is clear that the population is currently very dynamic. It also appears that the natural colony has been abandoned so it is likely that some of the adults that were nesting on the natural colony have now relocated across to the artificial bank. All unproven of course!

After the Sand Martin session, Pete joined Mick and I with the boat to have a look at the Main Pond tern platform and the Cormorant islands. The tern platform had Black-headed Gulls nesting as well as Common Terns and we ringed 7 gull chicks and 14 tern chicks. There are still a good number of tern nests with eggs. The main Cormorant island had plenty of nests, mostly with large chicks that prevented a safe landing. The small island had no large chicks visible in nests so we landed, ringed a couple of chicks and found a number of nests with eggs. It looks like we will be ringing Cormorants into the late summer again.

Phil

Monday, 3 July 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 2 July

We were back at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday after finishing at Attenborough last week. Thankfully there had been little disturbance at the site. The weather was quite calm and overcast for the first half of the session but the breeze did pick up slightly later. The team consisted of Gary, Alex, Tom, Jake, Trish and myself.

The catch was steady but it did take quite a bit of ride clearance to get the nets up first thing. We ended with a catch of 78 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 3/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Robin 3/1, Blackcap 15/0, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 3/0, Reed Warbler 13/5, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Whitethroat 3/0, Cetti’s Warbler 2/0, Blue Tit 8/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Goldfinch 2/0, Bullfinch 5/0, Reed Bunting 3/0.

The oldest retrap was a Blackbird from 2013. There were no Willow Warblers around but Reed Warblers seem to be in numbers similar to last year, Buzzards were in the air most of the morning.

Kev

Monday, 26 June 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 6 - Sunday 25 June

The sixth CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Sunday by Gary, Duncan, Pete S and I. The forecast was for cloudy and breezy conditions but the sun did break through for a good while. Despite the breezy conditions we had another good catch, we finished with 55 birds processed (40 new/15 retrap) made up of: Wren 2/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 1/1, Reed Warbler 4/1, Blackcap 1/3, Chiffchaff 3/3, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 13/1, Great Tit 2/3, Long-tailed Tit 3/0, Treecreeper 1/1, Goldfinch 2/0, Greenfinch 2/0, Bullfinch 2/1. The oldest retrap was a Great Tit from 2012.

Kev

Attenborough Sand Martins, Wednesday 21 June

Phil, Pete S and I held another session to catch the adult Sand Martins. The weather was good with a light breeze but this was easterly so the bank protected the net. After the session Phil looked at the results and reported the following:

- 39 birds caught, 22 retraps and 17 new birds

- 4 of the birds were 3Js, one not ringed as a pullus (moved from the natural colony possibly?). So, of the 120+ birds that have fledged so far, it looks as though most of them have already left the area. One of the 3 birds fledged a week ago and the other two must have just fledged (were close to fledging last Friday and are now 23-25 days old).

- Of the 19 adult retraps, only 5 were birds that we also caught on 25 May, when we caught 45 adults. This seems to be a very low proportion. It’s partly explained by the fact that we caught 24 adults on face C last time and only 3 this time and no adults on face A last time and 16 on A today. A better comparison is on face B, where we caught 21 adults on 25 May and only one of these was also caught today (2 birds caught today on B were caught previously on C). It’s interesting to speculate why this might be – might birds have their second brood in a different hole and with the natural colony nearby, might some of the birds have relocated?

- When we then look at A, we caught 16 adults, 10 new birds and 6 retraps. All of the retraps were caught in 2016, 5 as pulli and 1 as an adult. Where were all of these birds on 25 May? Late arrivals or have they also had a brood elsewhere and are now having their second brood on A (as of last Friday, there were 7 nests with eggs on A, 6 of which are new nests where there was not a first brood).

- We had 3 controls of birds that were not originally ringed at Attenborough, none of which have been caught here before.

- For the 2 sessions combined, we have caught a total of 75 adults, 41 males and 34 females. My estimate of the number of breeding pairs is c 41 (based on first brood nests with eggs) and if this is reasonably accurate, we have caught a very high percentage of the adults, which is what we were hoping to achieve with the new net. If the colony is more dynamic, which today’s session would suggest, we’ve probably still achieved this target, albeit with not such a high percentage. We’ve just got to make sure next year, all of the birds breed on the colony!

Kev

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Wales, Sunday 11 June

The annual trip to Wales to ring the Pied Flycatcher chicks was made by Duncan, Kev, Mick and me a couple of weeks ago. Following reports that the previous week's terrible wet and windy weather had caused havoc in many nestboxes across the west of the UK, we were unsure what we might find.

There were a few nests with dead, well-grown chicks, showing that it must have been difficult to find food in the inclement conditions, but despite this, we still managed a decent session, with 108 chicks ringed, the majority in the 'bottom' boxes at the base of the hill. Toilet wood was very poor and the other areas fared slightly better. Five adults were ringed and a control was also captured.

We also ringed a single brood of 5 Redstarts and an adult Wood Warbler. Several Red Kites were noted on the journey.

Tom







Monday, 19 June 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 5 - Saturday 17 June

The fifth CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Saturday by Gary, Sue, Pete S and me. The forecast was for a hot weekend but I decided to go for Saturday as there was some early cloud forecast and Sunday was going to be even hotter. Fortunately the forecast was right and for the first couple of hours we had some broken cloud before the sun came out in full force and with little breeze it was hot. For the last hour we had to move the base under the trees to get out of the sun, despite the increased threat of mosquitoes in the shade! 
 
The catching rate started quite briskly and did not drop off as much as expected with the full sun. It was nice to catch a juvenile Kingfisher on what proved to be a bit of a Wren day. We finished with a very respectable 54 birds processed (43 new/11 retrap) made up of: Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 2/2, Song Thrush 2/1, Wren 11/2, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 1/0, Reed Warbler 3/0, Sedge Warbler 0/2, Blackcap 8/0, Chiffchaff 5/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retraps were from 2016.
 
Kev
 
 (S. Lakeman)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Recent Recoveries

Or not so recent recoveries - this is a bit of a 'bumper' round-up, with recoveries dating back to February!

Barn Owls, to begin with, as the young birds begin to disperse prior to breeding, we often get a number of reports of birds found dead.
  • A bird found dead on the road at Whatton at the end of March had originally been ringed nearby in Bingham as a chick, in August 2014.
  • A bird ringed in Stathern in June 2016, was found in Carlton-on-Trent in February. Another bird ringed in the same village, but a few days later, was also found dead, in Sutton-on-Trent.
  • A bird ringed in Norwell in October 2016 was found dead in Caunton the following month.
  • A first year female ringed in Muston in 2016 was found on the roads in the village on the 21st March.
  • A bird ringed in Hockerwood in 2014 was found in February this year in the Southwell area, as a road casualty.
  • And finally, a bird was found in Barnstone in February, having originally been ringed in Screveton in June 2014.
A Tawny Owl ringed in Stathern in May 2016 was found on the road, in nearby Hose in January this year.

More colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls have been noted, with 2 seen at Stoke Bardolph in January this year. One (2LXX), seen on the 7th, was originally ringed at Pitsea Landfill in Essex in January 2016 as a first winter bird. Another, E5NK, which was seen on the 25th, was originally ringed in June 2011 as a chick. It was ringed in Zoetermeer, Netherlands, and has been seen previously in Stoke Bardolph in February 2015, as well as being seen numerous times in its native city.

Two Canada Geese from the University of Nottingham ringing project have been noted. 2N3 was seen on 29 December at Holme Pierrepont rowing course last year, and was originally ringed in July 2014. 58N was ringed in 2016, and was also seen at Holme Pierrepont in December, as well as Trent Bridge in September.

A few passerine recoveries have also been received.

Two Lesser Redpoll, ringed at Bestwood, have been recovered locally. A bird ringed in October, was controlled by Birklands RG nearby in Bestwood Country park in April this year. Another ringed in November, was controlled by a ringer in Edwinstowe in March.

Birklands controlled another SNRG bird, a young Chaffinch ringed at Ramsdale Golf Club in September last year. It was recaptured in February, also at Bestwood Country Park.

And last but not least, a Reed Warbler ringed at Holme Pierrepont as a 3J in August 2015, has been controlled a site in Charente-Maritime in western France, in August 2016. Was this bird on migration back from the UK, or had it decided to spend its first summer in France? Who knows?

Tom

Monday, 5 June 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 4 - Sunday 4 June

The fourth CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Sunday by Duncan, Gary, Sue, Alex, Jake, Trish and I. Clear skies and a bit of a breeze from the start. Catching started slowly and did not really pick up until the end of the session when we caught some juvenile Blue & Great Tits. At least some have fledged!

We finished on 42 birds processed (29 new/13 retrap) made up of: Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 2/1, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 3/2, Reed Warbler 1/1, Blackcap 3/0, Chiffchaff 1/1, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 8/1, Treecreeper 0/1, Bullfinch 1/3, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Long-tailed Tit from 2014.

Kev

Friday, 2 June 2017

Ramsdale Park Golf Club, Wednesday 31 May

We held the first ringing session of the year at Ramsdale this morning. The weather was good with little wind and clear skies. The team consisted of Gary, Duncan, Mick and myself. 
 
The catch was steady throughout the morning, although the site did seem fairly quiet. However, whereas last year's first visit resulted in 35 birds, this visit ended with a total catch of 49 (40 new/9 retrap) made up of: Blackbird 1/2, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 3/1, Wren 1/0, Robin 5/0, Blackcap 3/2, Whitethroat 3/0, Chiffchaff 8/3, Great Tit 2/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Coal Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 7/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Goldfinch 2/0. 
 
The oldest retrap was a Chiffchaff from our first visit to the site in July 2015. A couple of Cuckoos flew around all morning but managed to evade the nets!
 
Kev

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 28 May

Duncan, Tom, Trish, Gary and I paid a visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. The weather was good, mostly overcast skies and a light breeze.

The catch was steady throughout and we ended on 41 birds processed (27 new/14 retrap) made up of: Blackbird 3/0, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 2/1, Garden Warbler 3/0, Willow Warbler 1/3, Reed Warbler 6/3, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 6/2, Bullfinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 1/1.

The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2013. Other than the reed beds around the lake the site is becoming more overgrown and heading towards woodland. This was illustrated by the absence of Whitethroat from the site, the first year that I have not seen or heard one in the breeding season.

Kev

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Attenborough Sand Martin Colony, Thursday 25 May

The first broods of Sand Martins have left their nests at Attenborough so I decided to make the first attempt at catching adults with the new mono-filament net. Phil, Pete S and I set the new and very fragile net in perfectly calm conditions and retired into the hide. We knew we would only be likely catch any number of birds at face’s B and C as face A had been affected by a leaking roof over the winter and there was only one active nest in it. We did have perfectly still conditions but the sun was out fully from the start so to end with a catch of 54 Sand Martins (including 24 recaptures), which is nearly as many as we had in 3 visits last year, suggests the new net is making a difference. Even better, 45 of them were adults including returning adults and pulli from 2016, 1 pullus from 2015 and a bird originally ringed at Redhill Marina in 2014 that was also caught at Attenborough in 2016. The French connection with the colony continued this year with the capture of another French ringed bird. The 9 retrap juveniles were all birds recently fledged from this colony.

Kev

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 3 - Sunday 21 May

The third CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Sunday by Duncan, Gary, Sue, Alex, Jake and I. We were also joined by Trish Horlock. Much better weather than last week meant we could get the nets set immediately. It stayed relatively calm and mostly sunny throughout the morning. However, the better weather did not result in a better catch. It was quiet all morning and we ended with 29 birds (21 new/8 retrap) comprising: Great-spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Wren 2/1, Dunnock 3/1, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 4/2, Chiffchaff 2/1, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Great Tit 1/0, Treecreeper 0/2, Bullfinch 5/1. The oldest retrap was a Dunnock from 2015.

Kev

 CES nets (S. Lakeman)


Cetti's Warbler (A. Phillips)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 2 - Sunday 14 May

The second CES visit of the season was carried out on Sunday by Duncan, Gary, Sue and I. The morning started overcast with rain but we continued down to the site as the rain was forecast to stop. We waited in the rain until 0635 when it did stop and then put up the nets. The skies soon cleared to blue with a light breeze. 
 
The catch was slower than last week. We ended with 36 captures (22 new/14 retrap) made up of: Magpie 1/0, Blackbird 3/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 1/2, Blackcap 3/1, Chiffchaff 1/2, Blue Tit 3/1, Great Tit 0/5, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Treecreeper 1/1, Bullfinch 4/0, Greenfinch 2/0. 
 
The Greenfinches were only the fifth and sixth ever caught on our CES visits. The oldest retrap was a Dunnock from 2012.
 
Kev
 

 Blue Tit and Magpie (S. Lakeman)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 1 - Sunday 7 May

The first CES visit of the season was carried out on Sunday by Alex, Duncan, Gary, Jake and I. We were also joined by Nigel Bosworth later. The morning started overcast with a breeze but the clouds started to break and the breeze dropped. The catch was steady throughout the morning and the highlights were a retrap Jay (that was originally ringed on the first CES session last year) and the first juvenile birds of the season: a couple of Robins and a Long-tailed Tit. 
 
Total catch was (new/retrap) 41/7 made up of: Jay 0/1, Blackbird 1/0, Dunnock 6/1, Wren 2/2, Robin 5/0, Blackcap 4/0, Chiffchaff 4/1, Willow Warbler 2/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Sedge Warbler 2/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 5/1, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Treecreeper 3/0, Bullfinch 4/0. 
 
This was a really good start to the CES season, let’s hope it continues in the future visits. The Willow Warblers were the first caught on the CES since 2013 and the Sedge Warblers the first since 2012. The oldest retrap was a Wren from 2015. We also ringed a couple of Tawny Owl chicks in one of the boxes.
 
Kev
 

 Jay (K. Hemsley)

Monday, 24 April 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 23 April

Alex, Sue, Gary and I made the second visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont today. We were joined by Jake Bull who was interested to see some bird ringing. Decent weather, calm with occasional cloudy periods prevailed. Catching started slowly and continued that way all morning. We ended with a total of 23 birds including 11 retraps. The species totals were (new/retrap): Robin 1/3, Wren 1/1, Blackcap 4/0, Reed Warbler 4/0, Cetti’s Warbler 0/1, Willow Warbler 0/3, Dunnock 0/2, Reed Bunting 1/0, Great Tit 0/1, Magpie 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2012, the oldest returning warbler retrap was a Willow Warbler from 2014. The main change from last Monday was the return of a few Reed Warblers and Whitethroat that started sing near the base part way through the morning.

Kev

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Holme Pierrepont, Monday 17 April

Alex, Duncan, Tom, Gary and I made the first ringing visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont today. An cool overcast morning with only a slight breeze and a bit of drizzle mid morning. Catching started well but soon dropped off. We ended with a total of 37 birds including 14 retraps. The species totals were (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Robin 2/1, Wren 3/0, Blackcap 2/2, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 1/1, Willow Warbler 4/2, Dunnock 1/1, Bullfinch 2/3, Reed Bunting 3/3, Long-tailed Tit 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Robin which was ringed in October 2012, the oldest returning warbler retrap was a Willow Warbler from 2015. Overhead were Buzzards, Sand Martins, a Swallow and a Common Tern. No other warbler species were heard or seen other than those caught.

Kev

 HPP net ride (K. Hemsley)

Sunday, 9 April 2017

2015 report

Our report for 2015 is out! A little behind schedule, but better late than never. If you would like a copy, please email the address at the top of the 'Reports' page - see tab at the top.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Brackenhurst, Sunday 2 April

Last weekend Gary and I took down the feeders at Sutton Bonington after some poor catches, so this morning Duncan, Sue and I headed east and netted the Brackenhurst feeding site. The weather was good with a slight frost showing in Orwin's first thing, but the sun soon melted that. We had a good session that started fairly quietly, second round produced 0 birds but then picked up and just kept going, we were still catching well when we took down to leave. We ended on 53 birds in total including 12 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Wren 1/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Blackcap 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 1/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 2/3, Reed Bunting 1/1, Yellowhammer 30/7.

All the warblers, except for one Chiffchaff, were from Orwin's. All the other birds, apart from one Great Tit, were from the feeders. The oldest retrap was a Yellowhammer from 2014.

Kev

Monday, 13 March 2017

Brackenhurst Ringing Demonstration, Wednesday 8 March

Jim, Kev, Esther, Erin and myself set out on a relatively mild morning, later accompanied by Lorna and Simon. Again, the feeders had been completely emptied by squirrels a couple of days earlier but had been topped up prior to the ringing demo. As usual, we set up nets at both the ringing site and Orwin’s field. The morning started off at a fairly leisurely pace but we were kept busy all morning with a constant supply of birds and interested students.

We caught 61 birds of 9 species, as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/0, Robin 0/1, Goldcrest 1/1, Blue Tit 1/3, Great Tit 2/2, House Sparrow 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0, Yellowhammer 29/13, Reed Bunting 2/0.

It was a decent catch of Yellowhammers and of note were a couple of that were 6 years old, one of which was first ringed in 2011 as an adult. The two Goldcrests were a male and female together (presumably a pair).

Finally, we were treated to Simon’s award-winning lemon and lime drizzle cake – delicious!

Louise



 (all photos by L. Griffiths)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sutton Bonington, Saturday 4 March

Duncan, Gary and I netted the feeding site this morning. The last couple of visits have produced very few birds despite the hoppers being emptied of seed quickly. We discovered by removing nets and watching the feeders there are plenty of birds coming in but as soon as nets are erected the ‘openness’ of the site makes the nets too visible and puts the birds off. This proved to be the same this morning.

The weather was good but birds caught were few, despite plenty of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting coming in as soon as the nets were down. Weather permitting the next visit will see whoosh nets being deployed!  We ended with 18 birds including 5 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 1/1, Long-tailed Tit 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Yellowhammer 5/4, Reed Bunting 3/0. The oldest retraps were from last winter.

Kev

Heron caught on camera

An Attenborough ringed Grey Heron was recently caught by a camera trap in Northamptonshire. Trap operator, Keith Walkling, said: “I get a bit of an influx of herons at this time of year, when the frogs start to appear, although there is no nesting colony on site. Peak numbers would be 8 - 10 although there always seems to be 1 or 2 about. The nearest colony would probably be at Eyebrook reservoir, about 5 or 6 miles to the north and there is one to the south at Titchmarsh BCN Wildlife Trust Reserve. I keep a couple of trail cameras on site all year round so will let you know if I get it again. Coincidentally our local BCN group had a very interesting talk in November given one of your colleagues, Nigel Slater, and our plan is to visit Attenborough some time soon.”


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Brackenhurst Ringing Demo, Monday 13 February

We had a good team out for this event: Jim, Kev, Gary, Louise, Erin, Lorna and I set up at first light in pretty chilly and slightly windy conditions. Quite a few birds were around, although catching was rarely anything more than steady. This suited us though as we also had a steady stream of undergraduate students coming to see what we do and learn a little about ringing. Many were on environmental courses and they were an appreciative audience.

We ringed 28 birds of 6 species, comprising (new/retrap): Dunnock 0/3, Robin 0/2, Blackbird 1/0, Blue Tit 5/3, Great Tit 2/2, Yellowhammer 9/1. The oldest retrap of the morning was a Robin ringed in November 2015.

By about 10 o'clock, the sun came out and the breeze stiffened a little and the capture rate plummeted. There were still good numbers of birds in the general area though, with perhaps 50 or so Yellowhammers hanging about. Over 100 Fieldfare were also moving around the nearby fields, both Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers were heard (the latter drumming), a few Siskin came over and 2 Woodcock were flushed from marshy grassland on the edge of a copse. Highlight of the morning was probably the flock of 7 Whooper Swans that flew over heading north.

Pete





All photos by Lorna Griffiths





Brackenhurst, Monday 6 February

Jim and myself set out on a very cold morning with Rebecca coming along to watch. Despite the feeders being empty and lots of squirrels hanging around, the morning started off very busily with a good number of birds. Then suddenly things dropped off around 10am, and as we were freezing cold (note the icicles on Jim's Landy!) we packed up.

We caught 41 birds of 7 species as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock 1/2, Robin 2/7, Blackbird 3/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 3/5, Chaffinch 1/2, Yellowhammer 8/4.

The oldest retrap was a Robin ringed in January 2013 and we also caught both Blue and Great Tits ringed in November 2014. This was also the last ringing outing for Jim's beloved Landy - it has been on many adventures, and involved in countless scrapes, but we all loved it! Hopefully the new one will be just as useful.

Louise




 all photos by Jim Lennon

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

3 Days at Sutton Bonington

FEEDING SITE - SUNDAY 29/01/17
Alex, Sue, Gary and I netted the feeding site again this morning. There was a slight frost to start with but it was clear and still, clouding up later. Catching was fairly steady throughout but still no large numbers despite the cold week we had just had and the seed in the hoppers being consumed swiftly. We ended with 31 birds including 16 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Fieldfare 1/0, Blackbird 0/1, Dunnock 0/3, Robin 0/6, Great Tit 1/1, Blue Tit 3/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Goldcrest 1/0, Goldfinch 1/1, Chaffinch 0/1, Yellowhammer 5/1, Reed Bunting 3/1. The oldest retraps were from last winter.

DAIRY FARM – MONDAY 30/01/17
Gary and I, along with Lucy from York netted the copse at the dairy farm site this morning. No frost today but overcast and misty at times. As we walked to the copse first thing we had both Barn and Tawny Owl fly in front of us. Catching started fairly briskly for this small site but dropped off later. We ended with 26 birds processed including 10 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Wren 1/0, Robin 0/3, Great Tit 1/2, Blue Tit 2/5, Chaffinch 11/0. The oldest retraps were from last autumn. We have generally noticed an increase at all sites over the last couple of years of ‘scaly leg’ in Chaffinch. Today saw it reach a new level, we ringed 11 Chaffinch but had to let 12 go un-ringed because they were suffering from the condition!

SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT – TUESDAY 31/01/17
Lucy, Duncan, Gary and I netted the sewage treatment plant this morning. The day started with breeze and light rain that had us hanging around for a break so that we could put the nets up. It did stop raining after a while and we eventually put up 4 nets although 3 of them were being caught by the breeze quite a bit. Not long after 1030 it started to rain again, sharply this time and forced us to finish early. Catching was slow but we did manage to catch a couple of Pied Wagtails and get samples from them – a prime target species as they feed directly from the filter beds. A surprise in the net on the last round was a Chiffchaff. We ended with 10 birds including 1 retrap made up of (new/retrap): Pied Wagtail 2/0, Wren 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 5/0, Goldcrest 0/1, Chiffchaff 1/0. The retrap was from the last visit.

Kev

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Peregrines

Group member Louise Gentle and her colleagues recently had a letter published about the Peregrines in Nottingham in the Journal of Raptor Research. it is reproduced below. Click on each page for a better view.






Recent ringing at Brackenhurst

17/01/2017

Jim, Duncan, Simon, Lorna, Erin and myself put 2 mist nets up near Home Farm at Brack in the hope of trapping House Sparrows to PIT tag. The PIT tags are integrated into plastic leg rings, very similar to colour rings, that are positioned on the left leg of the bird. Once the tag is in place the birds identity can be recognised by electronic ‘readers’ which can be positioned at bird feeders or in nest boxes. As part of a long-term project monitoring House Sparrows at Nottingham Trent University we are hoping to monitor them coming to bird feeders to look at aspects of feeding ecology such as frequency and timing of visits in relation to environmental conditions, and dominance interactions. They are notoriously difficult to trap in mist nets (unless they live in Jim’s back garden!) and even harder to re-trap, but hopefully we will PIT tag enough to give us an insight into their behaviour.

We ended up catching 6 House Sparrows and a lot of tits – not too bad really! Numbers (new/retrap) were: Dunnock 3/1, Robin 1/0, Blackbird 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 7/0, Blue Tit 19/1, Great Tit 10/1 and House Sparrow 5/1. The highlight was the retrapped House Sparrow that was originally ringed as a nestling about 30 metres away in 2013.

20/01/2017

Jim, Kev, Gary, Duncan and myself put nets up at Brackenhurst down by the feeders. Although the feeders were empty when we arrived, lots of birds had been spotted feeding at the site the afternoon before. It was another very cold morning, so a good catch was made. Numbers (new/retrap) were: Dunnock 0/1, Robin 2/2, Blackbird 0/1, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 3/2, House Sparrow 5/0, Tree Sparrow 1/0, Chaffinch 1/2 and Yellowhammer 18/4 (which always seem to appear in larger numbers after Christmas). The highlight was a Yellowhammer ringed as an adult in 2013.

23/01/2017

Another cold morning - Jim, Esther and I put 3 mists nets up near Home Farm to try to trap more House Sparrows. We had a slightly later start of 9am but this doesn’t seem to affect the House Sparrow catch as they appear to have a lie-in until then anyway! We had another good catch of tits, and didn’t do too badly with the sparrows either – slowly does it! Numbers (new/retrap) were: Dunnock 2/3, Robin 3/0, Long-tailed Tit 4/6, Blue Tit 9/7, Great Tit 1/1 and House Sparrow 8/1. The highlight was a Blue Tit that was ringed as a juvenile bird at the ringing site in 2010!

House Sparrow with PIT tag (L. Gentle)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Recent Recoveries

Only one Barn Owl this time - a female bird that was ringed in 2010 in Girton. She has been retrapped 6 times now, either at Girton (though in a different box to the original ringing site), or over the river in Sutton-on-Trent, which was the case this time round when North Notts RG recaptured her on 22 June last year.

Two Canada Geese from the Nottingham University research project have been found by Tom, still going strong. N66 and 28N were both found by the river at Trent Bridge on 18 September 2016. Both had been ringed as adults in July the same year.

Also at Trent Bridge amongst the many Black-headed gulls, were a couple of ringed birds, seen on 31 December. The first, J8TN, is the returning Norwegian bird that has been noted 3 times now since the winter of 2014/15. It was ringed in Norway in 2013 as an adult. The other bird had its metal ring read in the field, and was originally ringed as a chick at Thorne Moor, South Yorks in 2002, so will be celebrating its 15th birthday this year!

Some Passerine recoveries have come in too:

A Robin, ringed in Jim's Sibthorpe garden in December last year, was found dead in the village, having been killed by a cat, on 4 January.

A Reed Bunting, ringed by Ian Blackmore in Cropwell Butler in 2014, has been retrapped by ringer Ian Kirton in Cropwell Bishop, in December.

Three Lesser Redpoll were controlled at Bestwood in November. Of two caught on 8th, one had been ringed the previous month at Clumber and the other in Brandon, Suffolk back in March. The third bird, controlled on the 15th, had been ringed just 15 days previously, at Bevercotes Mine in the north of the county.

Finally, a Chiffchaff, ringed as a juvenile at Ramsdale Golf club in July 2015, has been recaptured by French ringers in the south-west of the country in Messange, in October last year (see map).

Tom

 Chiffchaff movement (map prepared by M. Pearson)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 22 January

Alex, Gary and I netted the feeding site this morning. We were joined by Edward Winfield who came along to see what ringing was all about. It was –3 Celsius when we got to the site and only +2C when we left, so a cold and mostly overcast morning with the breeze picking up a little about 0930 to add to the wind chill!

We put up the usual nets plus an additional net near the Pheasant feeder at the other end of the field. Catching was steady throughout and better than recent visits but still no large numbers despite the freezing conditions.

We ended with 42 birds including 21 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/1, Dunnock 2/9, Robin 6/4, Great Tit 0/2, Blue Tit 1/2, Goldcrest 0/1, Goldfinch 6/0, Chaffinch 1/2, Yellowhammer 3/0, House Sparrow 1/0. The oldest retraps were from last winter.

Kev

 House Sparrow (A. Phillips)

Monday, 9 January 2017

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 8 January

Sue, Duncan, Gary and I netted the feeding site this morning. The sky was mostly overcast and there was no breeze at all, it was about 5 degrees when we started and 10 degrees when we left. There seemed few birds about and the first net round produced no birds at all (apart from a Fieldfare that jumped out of the net as we approached). An ominous sign and strange as the seed in the feeders had gone down quite a bit since I topped them up only 5 days earlier. Strangely the catching rate started to pick up in the second half of the morning with 13 of only 17 birds caught being after 1000.

The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Robin 0/1, Great Tit 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Greenfinch 2/0, Goldfinch 9/0, Chaffinch 2/0, House Sparrow 1/0. The retrap was from the last visit and the House Sparrow a new species for the feeding site.

There were quite a few birds visiting a pheasant feeder at the other end of the field, maybe because this did not have nets set next to it – but it will have on the next visit!

There were plenty of Yellowhammer, Fieldfare and Redwing around but the best sighting of the morning was a pair of Grey Partridge that spent some time in the field quite close to our base.

Kev

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Grey Heron sighting

A bird ringed as a chick at Attenborough on 10 June 2013 has been seen in Dovedale, Staffs, on 5 December 2016. The same bird was also seen at Carsington Water, Derbs in April 2015. This is now the oldest reported bird from the project.

 Sightings of Grey Heron 1507012 (map prepared by M. Pearson)


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Brackenhurst, Wednesday 28 December

As often happens there was a cold snap betwixt Christmas and New Year. Duncan, Kev, Tom and I took advantage of this on the 28th. It was still and frosty when we arrived before dawn and freezing fog came down at nine, but soon to be replaced by bright sunshine ‘til we left.

The first net round produced about 30 birds; mainly Redwing and Yellowhammer. The latter formed nearly half of the catch with the oldest retrap being a bird from just over six years ago; this Yellowhammer had not been caught between times. The old birds often show up at the feeders in cold weather, and we also had Yellowhammers from 2013 (2), 2014 and 2015 (2). The oldest bird retrapped was a Chaffinch from 2009. As with Yellowhammers, Robins are apt to show up at the feeders in cold weather and we processed 10 birds with retraps from 2013, 2014 and 2015. Its almost like the older, more experienced birds know where to look for food when its cold!

The total number of birds processed was 87 (54 new/33 retrap), comprising: Dunnock 0/1; Robin 5/5; Blackbird 3/1; Fieldfare 1/0; Redwing 7/0; Blue Tit 2/6; Great Tit 1/8; Treecreeper 0/1; Chaffinch 5/1; Yellowhammer 30/10.

Jim

  A frosty dawn at Brack (Tom Shields)