Monday, 29 February 2016

Sibthorpe, Monday 29 February

In order to avoid any proposals of marriage, I stayed in the garden today and did some solitary bird ringing. I opened the nets just after dawn and closed at one o’clock, by which time I had processed 68 birds (58 new, 10 retrap) and entered them all on IMPR. Sixty-six of these were all caught in the one 18m net.

Finches dominated the catch. There was only one retrap among the 32 Goldfinches, which shows how mobile they must be at the moment. Star birds, at this newish site, were a fine adult male Reed Bunting (which we’ve not seen here before) and an unusual female Greater Spotted Woodpecker (see picture). Interesting to hear what group members would age it as, i.e. first winter or adult (or not sure...)!

Totals as follows (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Wren 1/1, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 0/2, Blackbird 4/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Blue Tit 2/0, Great Tit 0/1, Starling 1/0, House Sparrow 2/0, Tree Sparrow 1/1, Greenfinch 13/0, Goldfinch 31/1, Reed Bunting 1/0.


Sutton Bonington, Saturday 27 February

At last a decent day for mist netting at a weekend, so Gary, Alex, Tom, Sue and I made the most of it at Sutton Bonington. We got the nets up fairly quickly despite having to replace the guys in the Hawthorne hedge that had recently been flayed!

There were a few Yellowhammers around on the last visit and they had been there the day before when I went to check the bait. The first catch was good (and included Yellowhammers) and subsequent catches were OK, giving us a steady morning with a total of 35 birds including 10 retraps.

The species totals were (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/2, Chaffinch 3/0, Goldfinch 8/3, Greenfinch 1/0, Yellowhammer 8/0, Reed Bunting 2/0, Robin 0/3, Blackbird 0/1, Blue Tit 1/1. The retraps were all recently ringed birds.

At one time there were 5 Buzzards visible in the sky and a few small parties of Fieldfares passed over.


Yellowhammer (S. Lakeman)

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Brackenhurst, Wednesday 24 February

Kev, Gary, Jim and Duncan very kindly helped to undertake another ringing demonstration for the NTU students at Brackenhurst. The demonstration was advertised by NTU's Conservation Society and was well attended by students, some of whom stayed all morning!

We had a lot of birds at the start of the morning but a sharp decline towards midday. Nevertheless, there was a good variety of birds to show the students. Highlights were 21 Yellowhammers (a mixture of males and females of different ages to show the students), a good number of Chaffinches and 1 male Goldcrest. Interestingly, one of the Yellowhammers had a deformed bill - something the senior ringers had not noted in this species before.

We caught 51 birds, 21 of which were retraps. Species totals were as follows (new/retrap): Dunnock (2/4), Robin (0/3), Blackbird (1/0), Goldcrest (0/1), Blue Tit (1/0), Great Tit (4/4), Chaffinch (6/3), Goldfinch (1/0) and Yellowhammer (13/8). Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the day (to some) was the arrival of two of Simon's famous lemon drizzle cakes - YUM!

Thanks to the students who provided so many lovely photos too.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Notts Biodiversity Action Group Event

SNRG is a member of the Notts Biodiversity Action Group and so we can attend for just £6. If you aren't in a member organisation it's £10. Contact details at bottom. Click pics for larger versions.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Sutton Bonington, Sunday 14 February

Because of poor weather it had been a month since our last visit to Sutton Bonington. The weather for this visit was forecast to be a bit too breezy but we went ahead and were joined by Emma Wells, an MSc student at Nottingham University, studying Biological Photography.

There was a bit of a breeze as we put up the nets and this increased as the sun rose and ‘lit up’ the nets. The first round was quite productive but catches dropped quickly and we took down at 1030. It was at least encouraging that there were a few Yellowhammers around and we caught two of them.

We finished on 22 birds including 6 retraps, the species totals were (new/retrap): Dunnock 0/3, Chaffinch 2/0, Goldfinch 5/0, Greenfinch 4/0, Bullfinch 1/0, Yellowhammer 2/0, Reed Bunting 1/1, Robin 1/1, Blackbird 0/1.

The retraps were all recently ringed birds. A couple of Buzzards passed overhead along with a few small parties of Fieldfare and at least 1 Raven.