Friday, 27 December 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

The group produced this document a while ago to give to new recruits and other interested people. I've now added an extra page for it as you can see on the bar above.


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Recent Recoveries

Just two recoveries just in. The first was one of the few Barn Owl chicks ringed this year which met its end after 65 days having travelled 17km from Halam to Alverton. This is pretty standard stuff. The second recovery is something a little more out of the ordinary, being a Brambling ringed by Mick P near Bestwood on Christmas Eve 2010. This bird was trapped in Norway on 24 September this year over 1000 days later and over 2000km away. Happy Christmas Mick!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Brackenhurst, Sunday 15 December

Thankfully the forecast was wrong in the right way and we were greeted with calm weather when we got to Brack just before dawn today. It was cool and frost formed with the sunrise temperature dip. The wind picked up later and it started to rain as we got back to the vehicles. This week our team was Alex, Gary, Ian, Tom and myself. We processed 58 individual birds, and with the 'soft' weather at the moment I would have taken that beforehand. Also, Orwin's caught zero birds, probably because this numpty forgot the sound lure.

The majority of the birds were retraps, but we had two new species for the winter in Wren and Tree Sparrow. From the retraps, the Great Spotted Woodpecker was the best, being ringed as an adult in 2008, and there were also Chaffinches from 2009 and 2010, two Great Tits and a Robin from 2010.

Totals for individual species ringed/retrapped (25/33): Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1, Blue Tit 6/5, Great Tit 3/13, Wren 1/0, Robin 0/5, Dunnock 0/1, Tree Sparrow 2/0, Chaffinch 2/7, Yellowhammer 11/3.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Recent Recoveries

There's been a very interesting record of a Black-headed Gull which was ringed at Attenborough back in December 1989 which turned up in Copenhagen, Denmark, in April 2000 and had it's ring read by an observer in the field by sight!

A Cormorant ringed as a chick at Attenborough in June 2013 was present at Carsington Water in Derbyshire a month later where the bird's colour ring was read.

A Tawny Owl ringed as a chick at Averham Park in April 2012 was killed by a vehicle at the same site in August 2012.
A Reed Warbler ringed in Maine-et-Loire, France, in August 2009 was controlled at Holme Pierrepont in June 2013. Another ringed in Spain in August 2007 was also controlled at HPP in August 2013.

A Tree Sparrow ringed at Attenborough in December 2011 was found dead at West Torrington, Lincolnshire in September 2013 having travelled a distance of 78km.

A Lesser Redpoll ringed at Bestwood in November 2011 was controlled at Aros Moss, Argyll and Bute in May 2013 having travelled a distance of 395km.

And then there's the usual stack of Barn Owl records as follows:

A chick ringed at Girton in July 2009 was controlled at Collingham in August 2013.
A chick ringed at Auckley, South Yorkshire, in July 2006 was controlled at Caunton in August 2013.
Another ringed at Crowland, Peterborough, in May 2013 was controlled at Radcliffe on Trent in June 2013.
A chick ringed at Plungar in June 2011 was controlled at Westwoodside, North Lincolnshire in August 2013, having travelled a distance of 63km.
A chick ringed at Cotgrave in June 2007 was killed by a vehicle at Cropwell Butler in August 2013.
A chick ringed at Fiskerton in June 2009 was controlled at Hawton in August 2013.
A chick ringed at Muston in July 2012 was controlled at Sutton in September 2013.
A chick ringed at Trowell in July 2012 was controlled at Moorgreen in July 2013.
A chick ringed at Elton in July 2012 was controlled at Tithby in July 2013.
A chick ringed at Collingham in July 2011 was controlled at Newark in August 2013.
A chick ringed at Shelton in September 2013 was found dead at nearby Thoroton in October 2013.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Brackenhurst, Sunday 8 December

Another marvellous dawn met us at Brackenhurst this Sunday, but this time we also had a yellow card from the shepherd which meant increasing blustery south-westerly winds. Our ringing team grew again, and included (left to right in pic) Gary, Duncan, Pete S, Kev, Chris (from Tring RG), Liz, Emma, Tom, Sue and myself (behind the camera...).

It being 8 degrees warmer and more blowy than previously, conditions did not make for quite such a good catch. However, we still managed 73 birds, which were split equally between being ringed and unringed.

Orwin's was sheltered from the wind and the 'magic' sound lure brought in another 10 Redwing. It's very nice to catch more than just the odd one, and a have a look at the moult on first winter and adult individuals. The bird below had several old greater coverts as well as fault bars in the remiges and rectrices.

The Blue and Great Tits kept coming, but the mild, windy weather attracted fewer Chaffinches and Yellowhammers. However, 'star bird' was a first winter male Brambling. Note the old alula and primary coverts.

(All photos by JL)

Totals for individual species ringed/retrapped (37/36): Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 4/6, Great Tit 4/16, Dunnock 3/1, Blackbird 0/1, Redwing 10/0, Robin 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/4, Brambling 1/0, Chaffinch 3/2, Yellowhammer 7/6.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Brackenhurst, Sunday 1 December

Weatherman, he say: mild overnight with northerly winds 5-8 mph, but when Kev, Gary, Pete S, Emma, Duncan, Rebecca and I got to the Brack feeders this morning just before dawn, it was calm and very frosty. It turned into a bright and sunny day and it was great to be out ringing in good company.

The overnight cold maybe made the birds keener and we managed to process 98 birds with a nice mix of 12 species. Great Tit, Chaffinch and Yellowhammer were the main species caught, but nine Redwing were an excellent bonus, all attracted to a new sound lure (we've only ringed 16 in the last 5 winters). It's the norm to catch Long-tailed Tits in flocks, with the calling netted birds pulling the others. However, we caught four single birds today and one of them had originally been ringed five years and five days ago!

As we walked down to the ringing site, it was obvious there were a fair few thrushes roosting in the hedges, and we also heard a Tawny Owl calling.

Totals for individual species ringed/retrapped (58/40): Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1, Blue Tit 1/5, Great Tit 5/10, Dunnock 2/6, Blackbird 4/0, Redwing 9/0, Robin 2/2, Long-tailed Tit 2/2, Chaffinch 14/6, Goldfinch 4/0, Bullfinch 1/0, Yellowhammer 14/8.