Saturday, 31 August 2013

Fulmar recovery

It may sound odd for a land-locked ringing group, but we've just received details of a Fulmar that was ringed by the group as an adult in July 1988. The bird was ringed by Mick T at a cliff top site on a day that 29 Fulmars were ringed (mostly pulli but 4 adults were fleyg netted). It was towards the end of a week that Gary, Mick T, Chris, Garry Barker and Kev spent ringing seabirds around the top of Scotland. They did another 13 the next day including 4 more adults. They ringed at various sites including mist-netting at the Loch of Mey where a variety of waders and gulls were caught, including a Great Black-backed! They also managed to round up a brood of Shoveler. The Fulmar in question was caught a mere 5km from the original site but a whopping 25 years later. However, the longevity record for this species is 40yrs, so let's hope someone visits the area in about 2029....

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Recent Recoveries

A young Waxwing ringed in Norway in October 2012 was controlled at Clifton in February 2013.

A Grey Heron ringed as a chick at Attenborough Nature Reserve in April 2013 was found dead near Loddington, Kettering, Northamptonshire in July 2013, an interesting movement for a young bird.

A Barn Owl ringed as a chick at Langar in June 2012 was hit by a lorry near the same site in February 2013.

 A Great Tit which was ringed as a youngster at Granby in November 2010 was discovered dead in a nearby nest box in April 2013. Another Great Tit which was ringed as a youngster at Granby in March 2009 was discovered dead in a nearby nest box in February 2013.

 A Common Tern ringed as a chick at Attenborough Nature Reserve in July 2011 was found dead (possibly predated) at Nottingham City Airport, Tollerton in July 2013.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 18 August

I joined Kev, Gary, Duncan and Alex for my first session at HPP in quite some time and was amazed at how parts of the site had grown up. In fact when I went for a wander, paths that had been clear on my last visit were not just impassable, the were invisible with thick shrouds of brambles blocking my way.

Nevertheless, the main trapping areas were productive on this pleasant, sunny morning and the first couple of rounds were busy before the sun and wind slowed everything to a halt. We processed 56 birds, 10 of which were retraps. These were all relatively recent other than the Spanish Reed Warbler which we've now caught in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and which was originally ringed in Spain on 18/08/07 as a youngster.

Totals as follows (new/retrap): Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Wren 0/1, Reed Warbler 17/2, Blackcap 14/2, Garden Warbler 3/1, Bullfinch 0/2, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Reed Bunting 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Robin 2/0, Blackbird 2/0.

Also seen were Yellow Wagtail, several Common Terns, a trickle of Sand Martins and Swallows overhead (but no Swifts...), a couple of Gadwall, 3 Sparrowhawks (including a pair sparring high in the air) and a couple of Jays. Butterflies were present in reasonable numbers, particularly Peacocks and Small Whites, and Brown Hawkers and Common Darters were the most common dragonflies seen.


The Spanish Reed Warbler that is something of an old friend now. (PML)

It's a battle to get to any point at which you can look over the water now, so thick are the reeds. I wonder how long it'll take for the entire pit to cover?

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 11 August

Duncan, Alex, Gary and I ran a session at the A52 end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. We also had Sue Lakeman along with us, Sue wanted to see what ringing involved and contacted us via Lynda Milner. The morning started sunny with a slight breeze but again the wind soon got up and started to affect the nets.

We had a particularly hectic couple of net rounds and then it all went quiet as the wind increased. We ended on 76 birds including 4 recently ringed retraps. 70 of the birds were caught by 10:00am! About two thirds of the birds were warblers including 11 Blackcaps and 11 Reed Warblers, it was nice to get 3 Lesser Whitethroats as well.

To end the morning we caught a partial albino Blackbird, no need for colour rings to spot this one in the field!


Monday, 5 August 2013

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 4 August

Duncan, Gary and I ran another session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. The morning started calm and bright but the wind soon got up and started to affect the nets, one net we took down early because it was billowing. Despite the conditions we caught steadily, although a couple of nets were unusually unproductive.

We ended on 56 birds including 10 retraps, the highlight was a juvenile Cetti's Warbler. The other birds were mostly warblers including 6 Garden Warblers but there were no Whitethroat caught in the nets and of the 16 Reed Warblers caught only 2 were adults - have they left early? We did recapture the French-ringed Reed Warbler we had found earlier in the summer, but other than that, the retraps were all recent birds.

To end the morning we ringed a brood of 3 Whitethroats in a nest that David found a couple of weeks ago; so there were some adults still around!

Overhead there were a few hirundines and Swifts moving through, a Buzzard went over and Gary thought he saw a couple of Sandwich Terns.