Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Baiting up and clearing rides

Granby is open for business and ready for season 14 mist-netting in a couple of weeks. Thanks to Ewan Weston and Mike Lennon for big help in getting it ready for the winter last Saturday. However, Brackenhurst beckons this weekend.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Attenborough Sand Martins

There are now a couple of videos on the Attenborough website documenting the Sand Martins that the group has been helping with:

Monday, 13 October 2014

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 12 October

A very foggy autumnal morning greeted Duncan, Alex, Nick, Gary and I when we met at Holme Pierrepont. The temperature gauge on the car went down to 4 degrees celsius on the journey to the site. This was going to be the closing session for the season at the Grange end of the site and as such the likelihood of a good catch was not thought to be high.

We set all the usual nets except for one which still had a tent erected in the ride, still apparently unoccupied. With no wind and few birds calling a warbler tape was set in the hope of catching any remaining migrants and we retired to the base.

A couple of the nets seemed to be catching the moisture in the fog and frequently needed shaking dry. From the first round catching was brisk and only really fell off towards the middle of the day as the fog lifted and the sun lit up the nets. We ended with a very good total of 69 birds including 26 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 3/3, Wren 4/4, Dunnock 4/1, Blackbird 1/2, Blackcap 1/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Treecreeper 1/1, Long-tailed Tit 10/4, Blue Tit 4/8, Great Tit 3/2, Bullfinch 3/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 6/1.

We only managed to catch the one migrant warbler, a Blackcap, and that was as we were taking the nets down and the tape was off! The oldest retraps were a Blackbird and Blue Tit from 2012.

Overhead was pretty quiet, a few Jays were around and a Grey Wagtail but no winter thrushes as yet. At the end of the session all the poles and guys were removed and the site closed down, I guess the next big visit well be early next year to do some vegetation clearance.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Recent Recoveries

Only a few recoveries have been dribbling in of late, but the latest one is a little more remarkable than the usual ones we get.

A Snipe, which was ringed at Holme Pierrepont in December 2011 was shot 994 days later on the 16th of September this year, having travelled to Ringkøbing in western Denmark. Interestingly, this bird was also retrapped between these dates at Holme Pierrepont in March 2013, so has a bit of history with the group!

In other news:

A Jackdaw ringed as a nestling in Normanton in June 2013 was shot in the same area almost a year later.

A Male bullfinch was found dead in July this year, having hit a window in Hucknall, after being ringed 3km away in Bestwood in 2011.

And a Barn Owl that was ringed as a nestling in Eaton in 2012 was found dead in the same area in September this year.


Long-eared Owl nest baskets

Don Pritchett and myself spent a pleasant couple of hours roaming a thicket in the Vale of Belvoir in the late sun yesterday afternoon putting up the LEO nest baskets he'd made from various garden centre products. LEOs are regularly seen here in the winter, so fingers crossed...

 (LEO's view from the nest!)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Holme Pierrepont, Tuesday 30 September

Duncan, Jim, Gary and I made a final visit to the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont on Tuesday. Another fine, clear morning with very little breeze, we erected most of the usual nets and set 4 tapes playing. At this time of year we do not expect to catch many birds as the warblers have generally moved out. There were a couple of Chiffchaffs singing but other than that the site seemed relatively quiet.

However catching started at a brisk pace before the breeze got up a little and the sun rose high in the sky. We caught only two species of migratory warblers but these were in good (and surprising) numbers. We finished with 70 birds including 7 retraps and a control, made up of (new/retraps and controls): Robin 5/2, Wren 3/0, Dunnock 1/1, Blackcap 13/0, Chiffchaff 12/1, Cetti’s Warbler 0/1, Goldcrest 2/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 8/3, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0, Goldfinch 6/0, Reed Bunting 1/0.

The oldest retraps were the Cetti’s Warbler and one of the Robins that were both from 2012, we also had a control Chiffchaff. Overhead passed a few Skylark, a Swallow, two Buzzard and a couple of Jays. At the end of the session we removed all of the poles and guys, effectively closing this site for the winter.