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.


 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.


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


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.


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.