Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Holme Pierrepont Ringing Demo photos

Many thanks to Geoff Prett for sending us these photos from our Ringing Demo.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Holme Pierrepont Ringing Demo, Sunday 24 August

Having not had particularly good catches at the ‘new’ Skylarks end of the Holme Pierrepont site in recent weeks I was a little anxious that we would have enough birds to show the groups of visitors that were due on the hour from 0800 to 1100. I suggested an earlier start to the team so that we could get up a few extra nets which would stretch us slightly keeping them checked, but with a team of nine out we should be ok.

So at 0530 Gary, Jim, Duncan, Alex, Tom, Sue, Linda, Nick and I met in the car park on a very cool and calm morning but clear skies suggested catching may be restricted as the morning went on. We quickly set 9 of the usual nets and 3 new nets with a view to putting up a few more when we had had a chance to gauge the catching rate. As ringers we all know that even on good netting days we sometimes catch very little and sometimes the extraordinary happens.

Well today was one of those extraordinary days. After setting the nets we did put on a number of tape lures but these only accounted for a small percentage of the 201 birds caught in the morning including just 9 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Wren 2/2, Dunnock 2/2, Robin 11/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Reed Warbler 10/0, Lesser Whitethroat 9/0, Whitethroat 25/2, Garden Warbler 4/0, Blackcap 42/0, Chiffchaff 17/0, Willow Warbler 15/0, Long-tailed Tit 9/2, Blue Tit 7/1, Great Tit 4/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Goldfinch 29/0, Bullfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 2/0.

The two oldest retraps were a Dunnock and a Wren both from 2012. Unfortunately the amount of birds gave us less time to spend with the visitors but they seemed to enjoy seeing such a lot of birds at close quarters. It will certainly be a day that is remembered for a long time by all the ringers present... And we never did get chance to put up those extra nets!


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 9 August

We opted to go ringing on Saturday as the weather forecast suggested that it was going to be the better day for ringing - and as I sit here typing this report on Sunday morning with the rain pouring down outside it was correct, for once.

A small team of Gary, Sue and I set nets at the ‘new Skylarks’ end of Holme Pierrepont with clear skies and a light but increasing breeze. We decided, because of the small team and the breeze, not to use some of the usual net sites but to try some new sites ready for the ringing demonstration later this month. We got just four of the usual nets up, one new net and was about to start on a second new net when Gary rang, he had gone on a net round as it was a while since the first net had been erected. The first net, a 12m, had 20 birds in it. We stopped putting up nets at that point and helped extract. The first two net rounds produced 51 birds but by then the breeze had increase to strong and the catching rate dropped dramatically forcing an early finish. Chris popped in and spent some time with us, he was down to check for any passing waders on the big lake.

We finished on 55 birds including 2 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 1/0, Wren 1/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Blackcap 13/0, Whitethroat 7/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/2, Willow Warbler 3/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 9/0, Goldfinch 2/0. The two retraps were both from the previous visit.


Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 3 August

The weather forecast was wrong again! Saturday was going to be wet all day so we opted for Sunday which was going to be bright and breezy. Saturday morning turned out to be still, overcast and dry (perfect for ringing!), but by then we had opted for Sunday which they got correct and we had to take the nets down a little early because of the breeze.

A team of Duncan, Alex, Sue, Gary and I set all but one of the usual nets but a slow start to catching continued into the morning and we finished with only 29 including 7 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 1/1, Wren 3/1, Reed Warbler 8/2, Blackcap 7/1, Cetti’s Warbler 0/1, Willow Warbler 1/0, Great Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 1/0.

Of the retraps we did get, the oldest were the Wren and Cetti’s Warbler, both from from 2012. The conditions undoubtedly effected the catch but the site did seem very quiet anyway. Overhead a couple of passing Ravens gave us something to look at.