Friday 29 July 2011

Attenborough, Tues 26 July

The plan was to make a catch at the Sand Martin colony at the rear of the visitor centre. The weather was good with little breeze, we also set a net near the feeders to give a little variety. Unfortunately not many Sand Martins seemed to be still using the colony, first broods having fledged already but we did manage to catch 5, all of which were adults. The garden net produced 7 birds, including 2 retraps - it also gave a few people the chance to handle a new species. The retraps were a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a recently fledged Tree Sparrow, the new birds were two Kingfishers, a Woodpigeon and two Great Tits. Thanks to Ian for the pics.


Monday 25 July 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 24 July

On Saturday Duncan paid a visit to the National Water Sports Centre to check out the possibility of parking there on Sunday for our ringing session. He was advised by staff not to come down so we changed the session to the A52 side, a rather early date for us to try there. We had to clear rides before setting the nets, the breeze was picking up as the morning went on and with only 13 poles at our disposal it was never going to be a 'major' session. However, we finished on a respectable 58 birds including 5 retraps. Warblers made up 64% of the catch and we even had 5 Willow Warblers but worryingly 4 of these were adults, I think they must have had a terrible breeding season in our area this year. A relative rarity for the site was caught - a Greenfinch and a small bird passed overhead calling that had us all stumped. The retraps were all relatively recent birds and included Whitethroat and Reed Warbler that were ringed at the Grange site this year.

Monday 18 July 2011

Norwegian Chaffinch

A Chaffinch ringed in Norway as a 5M in April 2010 was found dead in a Wollaton drainpipe in June this year. The report subsequently filtered through to us at Attenborough.

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 17 July

The weather was not so kind to us today, it was breezy from the start and the wind increased as the morning progressed but the rain that was forecast never did materialise. The nets were wind affected but we still managed 51 birds caught including 16 retraps. The catch was predominantly Reed Warblers. The big drop in Chiffchaffs continued with none caught but we did have a single Willow Warbler, an adult in wing moult.

Saturday 16 July 2011

Shiants match report

Our trip was a great success and rough totals are below. Amongst the 400 plus retraps were: 32 yo Puffin, 33 yo Razorbill & 26 yo Guillemot. There was also the odd control including several Storm Petrels.

A few facts:
  • Excluding Arctics, the ringing totals are highest for Shiants since 1985.
  • Best ever totals for Guillemot & Razorbill by some distance.
  • Our total is the same as the Britain & Ireland total for Razorbills in 2010.
  • Only 1100 Arctic Terns ringed in 2010, and we should expect some good recoveries off the Fladaigh birds.

(click table to enlarge)

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sun 10 July

A better turn out this week with Ian, Libby and Steve joining Gary and I. With no wind again and not so hot we were hoping for another big catch. We had an eye on the weather all morning as the forecast said heavy showers developing but they never did. We ended with 84 birds caught including 21 retraps. We recaptured the Spanish ringed Reed Warbler we first caught at the site in 2008 and had a few old Reed Warbler retraps. Again the majority of the 84 birds were warblers, 64 in total. The main differences from the previous week's birds were a big drop in Chiffchaffs (only 4 caught) and no Garden Warblers, but we did have a Lesser Whitethroat..............but still no Willow Warblers!

Sunday 10 July 2011

A Field Guide to Monitoring Nests - James Ferguson-Lees, Richard Castell and Dave Leech

The BTO have a new guide published this month and I can heartily recommend it. The book has been produced to help those involved in nest finding for research and conservation purposes. Alongside 146 species accounts it contains useful information (for newbies like myself) on fieldcraft, legislation, the BTO Nest Record Scheme.

I just thought I'd flag this up as it may be of interest to any trainees who, like me, have always been fascinated by the 'dark art' of nest monitoring, but have never really managed to get going.

Obviously there is no substitute for practice and patience, but this book (along with ye olde Observers Book Of Birds Eggs (Ebay it)) might be a good place to start.

Who knows, by next spring perhaps I'll be able to locate more than my garden blackbird's nest!


Monday 4 July 2011

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 3 July

Just Gary, Mick P and I were out for the first session at HPG in over a month. Thankfully no wind but full sun from first thing made me think it might be a slow wrong I was. First we had to clear the rides, find the poles and guys etc after such a break from ringing there the vegetation had grown quite a bit. We managed 12 nets before we had to go back round the nets, the first catch was over 30 birds so we abandoned attempts to put up more nets. The idea was to go clear the other rides when the birds stopped - but they didn't. The sun got hotter, we kept moving round the bush at the base to try to keep in the shade and the birds kept going into the nets. We ended on 117 birds including 12 retraps and a control Reed Warbler. All the usual species were caught the only missing one being Willow Warbler but we did get 14 Chiffchaff - how things have changed! 71% of the birds caught were warblers.

Just in case you needed to know...

Sunday 3 July 2011

Shiants update

After the first week Jim and team report that they have ringed 2500 seabirds including 1300 Razorbills and 126 Arctic Terns.

Baby update

Well June must be about the the peak hatching period so the birth of Wilfred Adam Leonard on 30 June fitted in nicely. He weighed in at 6lb 13oz, he's doing very well and has already been to see the Spot Flys in the village.