Thursday 30 April 2015

Recent Recoveries

The usual Barn Owl recoveries were in this most recent batch, however they were unusual in that they weren't just local recoveries of road casualties, but rather birds that had either travelled far, or had been recovered a good time after ringing.
  • A bird ringed in June 2007 as a chick in Barton-in-Fabis, near Clifton, was the most local recovery, being found as a road casualty in nearby Borrowash in April this year, almost 8 years after it was ringed.
  • A chick ringed in Greasley in September 2011 was found as a road casualty near Kings Mill Reservoir in Mansfield, in April this year, 4 years on.
  • Another chick, ringed in 2011 in Radcliffe, was found dead in Shropshire in March this year, 4 years on.
  • A bird found injured in Staffordshire in April this year had been ringed last June in Eaton, Leics. It had travelled a fair bit and the fate of this Barn owl is unknown.
  • And finally a bird ringed in Rolleston was controlled in Norfolk at Welney in February this year.
Another interesting recovery is of a Teal, of which we do not ring many. The bird was ringed at Holme Pierrepont in November last year, and was controlled by ringers at Holme in Norfolk, 2 months later.

There were also a few passerine recoveries:

A tree sparrow ringed as a chick at Beckingham Marshes in May last year was controlled by the group at Bestwood this February. This is the second control Tree Sparrow the group has had from Beckingham Marshes this year, both initially ringed by Chris de Feu last year.

A Long-tailed Tit, which was ringed at Hazelford Weir was retrapped by Mick at the same site seven and a half years later. This is quite impressive for a Long-tailed tit as the longevity record for the species is eight years and eight months, so it's not far off!

And a Chaffinch ringed at Brackenhurst in March 2013, met its end against a window in April this year. It must be a local breeder as it was found nearby in Halloughton.


Monday 27 April 2015

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 26 April

Tom, Duncan, Gary and I managed a Sunday visit to Holme Pierrepont, despite the weather forecast predicting it would not be possible! There was hardly a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze was blowing. We erected 12 nets including a couple in new sites.

We finished on 47 birds including 18 recaptures. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 0/2, Wren 2/0, Robin 1/3, Reed Warbler 4/1, Sedge Warbler 4/0, Blackcap 8/3, Garden Warbler 0/1, Chiffchaff 0/1, Willow Warbler 3/3, Blue Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Bullfinch 2/0, Reed Bunting 0/2.

There were a couple of Whitethroats around but they managed to avoid the nets, as did a calling Cuckoo. The oldest retraps of the morning were a Robin and a Garden Warbler from 2011. An added extra was a couple of Blackcap controls.


 Willow Warbler with pollen deposit on bill from migration (T. Shields)

Sunday 26 April 2015

Attenborough Herons, Thursday 23 April

Pete S, Gary, Mick and I had a great day out on the reserve at Attenborough today. We handled 22 Grey Heron chicks - fitting BTO metal rings to 17 chicks and adding 18 colour rings to those that were big enough. It helped that they're more synchronous this year, but very noticeable that the
western, more exposed nests, are a week or two later than those more sheltered on the east side of the reserve. We also ringed a brood of 4 Cormorant chicks, the rest on the main island colony were too big to approach safely.


 Jim with a personalised heron chick... (Photos by Gary Goddard)

Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 18 April

Nick, Gary and I, along with guest Lucy Jones held the first ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Saturday morning. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and a good breeze was blowing from first thing. Sheltered spots at the site also had a ground frost on them so we quickly erected eight nets, missing out the exposed reedbed nets.

Catching was steady most of the morning and I was pleasantly surprised with a total catch of 44 birds, 29 of them being warblers. A Green Woodpecker towards the end of the session in one of the nets was nice as it had been around all morning.

The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Green Woodpecker 1/0, Blackbird 0/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Wren 0/2, Robin 0/1, Reed Warbler 0/1, Sedge Warbler 4/0, Blackcap 14/2, Chiffchaff 2/1, Willow Warbler 4/1, Long-tailed Tit 2/0, Treecreeper 1/1, Reed Bunting 2/1.

There were plenty of Blackcaps around but I did not see or hear any Reed Warblers; until we caught one! Along with one of the Blackcaps they were the oldest retraps of the morning, both being returning birds from 2010 - but curiously neither had been caught in the intervening years. A good start, more to follow next weekend if the weather allows!


 Green Woodpecker (Nick Humphreys)

Sunday 12 April 2015

Brackenhurst, Sunday 5 April

A fairly quiet morning at Brackenhurst, with only 16 birds processed, but variety with 10 species handled. Our team was Gary, Alex, Kate, Kev and myself. Several Chiffchaffs gave us a welcoming chorus and it was nice to be ringing our first summer migrants of the year. However, there were few Yellowhammers about. This perhaps reflects the mild winter as in previous Aprils we've caught good numbers of them following on from a hard winter.

The more interesting of the retraps were Great and Blue Tits, both ringed on 02/11/2012, a Yellowhammer from 19/03/2011 which had not been caught since, and a Chiffchaff from last March.

Captures were (new/retraps) 16(8/8): Blue Tit 0/1, Chaffinch 1/0, Chiffchaff 3/1, Goldcrest 1/0, Goldfinch 1/0, Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1, Great Tit 0/4, Robin 1/0, Wren 1/0, Yellowhammer 0/1.