Saturday, 27 April 2013

Herons & Cormorants at Attenborough

So far we've made two visits to Attenborough Nature Reserve to monitor, and colour-ring the Grey Heron and Cormorant pulli. The herons are having a very mixed breeding season due to the very late and cold spring, with many failing at the egg stage and some abandoning large chicks. The winter flooding may have also affected their food supplies. Good news though is that we've ringed nine Grey Heron chicks, and quite a few pairs have re-laid. The Cormorants are quite varied too, with some sitting on eggs and others with large chicks. So far, seven Cormorant chicks have been colour-ringed. We'll be making several more visits to monitor what looks to be an extended breeding season.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 21 April

Duncan, Tom and I made the first visit of the year to the Grange side of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. Someone else had obviously decided it would be a nice place to spend some time and after doing so had left their makeshift tent, burnt out fires, cans, bottles and other assorted rubbish. On the ringing front the day started calm and sunny with a variety of warblers singing and a few finding the nets. The wind got up about 10.00am and the catch dropped of quickly from that point. We finished with 29 birds including 10 retraps, 13 of the birds were warblers including a Cetti's and some Sedge, Willow, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. The Reed Warblers had obviously not yet arrived in numbers as we only caught 1 and some of the Sedge Warblers we had were carrying fat so were probably just stopping of on their way north. A surprise in the net was a Snipe which made Duncan happy, particularly as it was one that Chris had missed in the winter and so needed a ring!


Saturday, 20 April 2013

AGM, Friday 19 April

Having been delayed by the bad weather, our AGM was later in the year than usual and was attended by a select few on a balmy spring evening at Rushcliffe Country Park. We enjoyed a good spread of food and after all the business Ruth gave us a great presentation about her trip to Delaware Bay to ring waders.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Lesser Redpoll Movements

Regular readers of this blog may be aware that several Lesser Redpolls ringed in Bestwood (during the Autumn/Winter months of September to February in 2010 - 2013) have been retrapped elsewhere in the UK. Whilst 5 movements from 260 birds ringed is a small sample, there appears to be a general south/south-easterly bias to the movements.

  • Y075574 ringed on 7/10/2011, retrapped in Surrey on 10/3/2012 after 155 days and 208Km
  • Y075613 ringed on 13/10/2011, retrapped in Kent on 23/1/2012 after 102 days and 247Km
  • Y754233 ringed on 13/10/2012, retrapped in Bedfordshire on 28/10/2012 after 15 days and 113Km
  • Y754238 ringed on 13/10/2012, retrapped in Surrey on 2/1/2013 after 81 days and 202Km
  • Y754334 ringed on 30/11/2012, retrapped in Nottinghamshire on 9/1/2013 after 40 days and 19Km
It's not all been one way traffic though as one bird retrapped at Bestwood on 10/11/2012 had originally been ringed in East Sussex on the 20/10/2011 after 387 days and 269km.

Mick P

Colour-ringed Cormorants

Birders at Attenborough Nature Reserve have noted a wintering colour-ringed Cormorant several years running and recently its origins have been traced to one of the Normandy Islands in the Chausey Archipelago in France where it was ringed on 15 May 2004. It was subsequently seen in July 2004 on Jersey before making its first appearance at ANR in October 2009.

This shows the value of colour-ringing Cormorants and lends weight to our decision to start colour-ringing the chicks which hatch at ANR in the next few weeks. We fitted metal BTO rings to 18 chicks there last year and already managed a recovery to a reservoir in Wakefield 70km away.


Recent Recoveries

The latest batch include a Kestrel chick ringed at Bunny in June 2009 which became a road casualty in Cambridgeshire in February 2013. Another ringed at Cropwell Butler in June 2011 was controlled at Cropwell Bishop in January 2013 and recorded as a female. A Barn Owl chick ringed at Gotham in June 2011, was found dead in a barn building in Roughton, Linconshire in January 2013. Another ringed at Caunton in June 2011 was found dead at the same location in March 2013, a third ringed at Hathern in June 2012 became a road casualty 16km away at Thrussington in March this year and a final chick ringed at Whatton in July 2012 became a road casualty 11 km away at Long Bennington in March.


Brackenhurst, Monday 1 April

Emma, Gary, Ruth, Duncan and I were the April fools at Brack on Easter Monday. Again, very dull with cold easterlies. A good account of the morning can be read on Ruth's blog along with some pics.

The oldest retraps were Blue Tit (2009, 2010), Chaffinch (2008, 2010) and Yellowhammer (2008). Totals were 14/27 (new/retraps): Goldcrest 1/0, Chiffchaff 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Robin 0/1, Blackbird 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 1-2, Blue Tit 1/6, Great Tit 0/6, Tree Sparrow 1/1, Chaffinch 4/2, Yellowhammer 3/8.

Sightings included Woodcock and Peregrine.


Granby, Sunday 7 April

Just Duncan and I were at Granby this morning. A very bright, cold dawn met us, but it soon warmed up and we were removing several layers of clothing. The warmth brought out the first Brimstone and Peacock butterflies we'd see this year. It was quiet first thing with just the odd Redwing and Yellowhammer calling. As elsewhere, no singing warblers, but the last bird trapped was a solitary Chiffchaff. We caught birds steadily through the rest of the morning finishing on 57 birds processed, with two-thirds being retraps. The oldest retraps were Blue Tit - 2008; Great Tit - 2010; Chaffinch 2008 & 2010; Yellowhammer 2008 & 2009.

Totals were 20/37 (new/retraps): Sparrowhawk 0/1, Chiffchaff 1/0, Dunnock 1/5, Robin 1/3, Blackbird 1/2, Blue Tit 0/2, Great Tit 0/4, Chaffinch 7/9, Yellowhammer 9/10, Reed Bunting 1/0.


Granby, Saturday 30 March

Gary, Emma and I braved the cold at Granby today. It was overcast, with a north-easterly that got in to your bones, and the odd snow shower.

We caught birds steadily with 76 birds processed, with more than half being retraps. The oldest retraps were: Dunnock - 2009; Robin 2010; Blue Tit - 2010(2); Great Tit - 2010; Chaffinch 2004 & 2010; Yellowhammer 2008 and 2009. The obvious highlight being the nine year old Chaffinch, and as is often the case it re-appearing as the breeding season approaches.

Totals were 34/42 (new/retraps): Dunnock 3/4, Robin 0/3, Blackbird 4/2, Blue Tit 0/6, Great Tit 1/8, Brambling 1/0, Chaffinch 11/6, Yellowhammer 10/10, Reed Bunting 4/3.