Friday 23 October 2015

Gibraltar Point

Kev, Duncan and I had been planning a return visit to Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory for some time and after keeping a close eye on the weather, the Gibraltar Point Blog and liaising with Mick Briggs, (ringer in charge), we hoped to take advantage of the influx of birds and go one day last week. Unfortunately strong winds on the day meant we had to cancel that visit. This was a pity as when we finally got there on Monday 19 October, we had missed the main passage of birds.

We arrived slightly later than planned and opened the nets in the Aylmer Avenue area at about 07:30. Catching started briskly but slowed down in the afternoon. We managed 92 new birds and 42 retraps giving us a respectable total of 134 birds for the day, so well worth the visit.

The best bird of the day for us was a Brambling, though George Gregory, a resident ringer ringing in the East Dunes, caught a Great Grey Shrike, a Skylark, and had a Merlin escape from the net!

Our totals for the day were - 33 Goldcrest, 3 Wren, a Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 11 Robin, a Reed Bunting, 2 Chaffinch, a Brambling, 4 Blue Tit, 16 Greenfinch, 10 Redwing and 7 Blackbird; and 42 retraps: 3 Great Tit, 6 Robin, 2 Dunnock, 13 Goldcrest, a Long-tailed Tit, 3 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 5 Blue Tit, a Blackbird, 3 Greenfinch and a Coal Tit.

Mick P

 Duncan checking the nets around the feeding station. 

 Kev, multitasking- bring birds back and delivering newspapers.

 Brambling (pics by Mick P.)

Thursday 15 October 2015

Recent Recoveries

A good number of recoveries have come in during the last month, some of which are quite decent, and passerines are well represented too!

Firstly with the Barn Owls -

Four of our birds have been controlled by other ringers:

- a bird ringed in Lambley in June 2011, was controlled near Westwoodside in North Lincs on 19 June
- a bird ringed in Upper Broughton in September 2014 was controlled in Old Dalby, Leics on the 4 July
- another was controlled near Burrough Hill in Leics on 8 August, originally ringed by the group on 14 June last year
- and a bird ringed in Muston, Leics in June 2014 was controlled in Ewerby, Lincs on 29 September

Another two have been recovered, both found dead. One was found freshly dead in a cattle trough in Bottesford on 5 October and had originally been ringed at the nest in nearby Elton on 6 July. Another was found freshly dead in a horse trough at Scotter Equestrian Centre, near Gainsborough, Lincs on 29 September. It had originally been ringed as a chick over 7 years previously, in August 2008, in Lambley. Aside from road casualties, it seems that death by drowning on farms in various livestock drinking troughs is a common cause of death for these birds, I wonder how they end up 'in the drink'?

Finally, we controlled a bird in Flintham on 1 September. This bird had originally been ringed at the nest in Thrussington, Leics in June last year.

And onto the non-owl recoveries...

Firstly, a Lapwing, a bird we don't see much on these reports, was seen in the field at Attenborough on 22 August this year. The observer managed to read most of the ring, and it was enough to find out that it was ringed by Birklands Ringing Group as a chick, in June 2008 up near Mansfield Woodhouse.

Next up is a Sand Martin, one of the youngsters from the Attenborough nest box project, which may be the first recovered overseas. It was controlled in Lentilles, in the east of France, on the 23 August, after being ringed on 19 June.

Two Goldfinch have been recovered, both ringed on 19 September this year in Gary's garden in the Meadows, Nottingham. The first was taken by a cat a few streets away, 15 days later. The second was found sick nearby the next day having probably hit a window.

A Garden warbler, ringed at Home Pierrepont on 11 July this year, was controlled at Brook Priory, Rutland on 31 July. Whilst another Garden Warbler, ringed on 22 August, hit a window in Sarzeau, on the west coast of France. This was only 17 days after it was ringed up here in Nottinghamshire, showing that it was probably already on its way south when we caught it. Sad that it didnt get any further, but it is one of many perils these birds face on migration.

Finally, to round up this bumper recovery report, A Blackcap, ringed in June 2014 at Bestwood, was controlled by ringers in June this year in Catterick, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.


Sunday 4 October 2015

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 4 October

Gary, Duncan, Alex and I made what will probably be the final visit of the season to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont today. The weather was calm and generally overcast. We erected 13 nets and had two warbler recordings playing. Catching was quite steady with a rush mid-morning.

It was good to find that not all the warblers have gone yet as we ended on 61 birds including 13 retraps. The species totals were (new/retrap): Kingfisher 1/0, Dunnock 4/0, Robin 4/4, Wren 1/0, Blackbird 1/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Blackcap 5/0, Chiffchaff 7/0, Reed Warbler 2/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Cetti’s Warbler 0/1, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 6/0, Long-tailed Tit 10/6, Treecreeper 0/1, Lesser Redpoll 1/0, Reed Bunting 3/0.

The oldest retrap was a Robin that was ringed in 2013. Nice to catch a Kingfisher and a Lesser Redpoll to close the season off.


 Kingfisher, Goldcrest and Lesser Redpoll (Alex Phillips)