Tuesday 26 July 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Saturday 23 July

Tom, Gary and I made the second visit of the year to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont. With a small team again we limited the number of nets that we put up. The conditions were a bit too bright with full sun from the start but no breeze. The catch was again relatively small as expected with the limited number of nets but started well, tailing off quickly as the sun got higher.

I had been asked a while ago by Lynda Milner, our local BTO rep if we could help with a request she'd had from Patricia Gammons in West Bridgford. The Father at her local Catholic Church was celebrating 40 years in the priesthood. He is quite a keen birder and she thought that, among other things and as a surprise and a present from his flock, he would really enjoy and be interested in watching a group of ringers at work. I was happy to oblige and we were joined for a while today by Father Michael. Fortunately we managed to catch a good range of birds whilst he was with us, he was very interested in what we did and had the opportunity to handle a few species of birds. It was nice to receive this email from him later:



Thank you so much for allowing me to join you at the Bird Ringing this morning. I found it absolutely fascinating! I was so impressed by the knowledge and patience that you, Gary and Tom showed as well. It is a beautiful spot and I really could have spent hours there watching you work! Also to be able to handle the Woodpecker and the Goldfinch was quite amazing as well.

Thank you again, and carry on the good work!

With every kind wish,

Fr. Michael


Thanks also to Patricia, who kindly made a donation to group funds for helping out.

We ended with a catch of 50 including 2 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 1/0, Blackbird 2/0, Dunnock 3/0, Wren 5/0, Robin 3/0, Blackcap 7/0, Whitethroat 2/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Reed Warbler 8/2, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Goldfinch 2/0, Bullfinch 5/0. The retraps were both recently ringed Reed Warblers.


Attenborough breeding birds, Thursday 21 July

Phil, Pete S, Mick P and I had another session catching Sand Martins at the Attenborough colony today. We caught 19 Sand Martins, all but 1 were adults and 8 were recaptures – of these 8 there were:
  • 1 of this year's pulli
  • 2 of last year's pulli
  • 2 adults ringed earlier this year
  • 1 was a bird originally ringed at Newthorpe Sewage Farm by Mick in 2014 as a juvenile
  • 1 British control.
  • 1 French control.
Pete S, Mick P and I, along with a Trust volunteer then went to check on the Cormorant nests and the Tern platforms, this resulted in the following being ringed:
  • 2 Cormorant pulli, 
  • 1 Black-headed Gull pullus on Coneries Pond
  • 19 Common Tern pulli on Main Pond

At least 3 other Cormorant nests still had eggs that were being incubated.


Monday 18 July 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 17 July

Sue, Gary and I made the first visit of the year to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont. With such a small team and all the rides to clear we put up just 6 nets but did clear the rides for all the other nets.

The conditions were a bit bright with the patchy cloud cover clearing to full sun and an increasing breeze. The catch was relatively small as expected with the limited number of nets. We ended with a catch of 36 including 1 retrap, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Dunnock 2/0, Wren 4/0, Robin 4/0, Blackcap 6/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 4/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Reed Warbler 9/1, Blue Tit 1/0. The only retrap was a Reed Warbler from 2013.


Photos by Sue Lakeman

Ramsdale Park Golf Club, Friday 15 July

Gary and I made the first summer visit to Ramsdale setting the usual line of 8x18m nets. Conditions were good with a light but increasing breeze and generally overcast skies, with a few minutes of drizzle at one point.

Catching was steady but the nets at the top of the slope caught more than those at the bottom, the opposite of what generally occurred last year. In total we ended with a catch of 45 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 4/1, Dunnock 4/0, Wren 5/0, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 4/1, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Willow Warbler 4/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 2/0, Coal Tit 3/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Greenfinch 1/0, Linnet 0/1. The oldest retraps, as you would expect from a site first operated a year ago, were last year's birds.


Tuesday 12 July 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 10 July

We had another visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. The forecast suggested it would be too windy but the morning started quite calm, the wind picking up later and forcing an early finish. The team consisted of Gary, Tom and myself, Duncan also joined us later on. The catch was small until we took down, when one net site produced a Long-tailed Tit flock along with a few other Tits and warblers adding 23 to the days catch.

In total we ended with a catch of 56 including 13 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/2, Dunnock 1/1, Wren 3/0, Robin 1/2, Blackcap 8/0, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 3/1, Reed Warbler 6/2, Blue Tit 6/0, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 9/4, Treecreeper 1/0, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Blackbird from 2013.


Tuesday 5 July 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 3 July

We were back at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday after finishing at Attenborough last week. Thankfully there had been little disturbance at the site. The weather was quite calm and mostly sunny but the breeze did pick up slightly later. The team consisted of Gary, Alex, Sue, Dave, Nabegh (on a passing visit) and myself.

The catch was fairly steady but it did take quite a bit of ride clearance to get the nets up first thing. We ended with a catch of 65 including 12 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Green Woodpecker 0/1, Blackbird 1/0, Dunnock 2/2, Wren 1/0, Robin 7/0, Blackcap 6/1, Garden Warbler 4/0, Chiffchaff 1/0, Reed Warbler 13/6, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 10/0, Bullfinch 0/1, Reed Bunting 1/0.

The oldest retrap was a Dunnock from 2011. The Green Woodpecker was ringed as a juvenile last year. There were very few Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around but Reed Warblers seem to be in better numbers than last year. A Hobby passed by early on and Buzzards were around all morning.


 Photos by Dave Walker

Monday 4 July 2016

Recent Recoveries

Just two Barn Owl recoveries this time round, with a bird ringed at the nest in Gotham in June 2014 being found up near Doncaster in February this year as a road casualty on the M1. Another bird killed on the roads was found in Norwell at the end of June. This bird had originally been ringed as a juvenile, in nearby Caunton, in October 2008.

A good scattering of passerine recoveries have come through:

A Robin, ringed during the CES at Attenborough in 2015, was taken by a cat in Beeston in May. A Chaffinch met the same fate in Lowdham at the end of June, having originally been ringed in January 2015 at Brackenhurst.

Another CES bird, a Bullfinch, ringed in June 2015, also met its end in Beeston, flying into a window in June this year.

In more positive news, a Great tit, ringed in Jim's garden in Sibthorpe on New Year's day, has been seen attending a nest of 7 young in the village, on a nest-cam.

A Chiffchaff, ringed at Holme Pierrepont in August 2015, was controlled by ringers at Spurn in April this year.

A Reed Warbler from Holme Pierrepont, ringed in July 2014, has also been controlled recently, being trapped at Marsh Lane NR in the West Midlands at the end of May.

A Goldfinch, originally ringed in October 2015, in Menston, W Yorks, was controlled by the group at Shelton in January.

A Mute Swan had its colour rings read at Attenborough at the end of April, and had originally been ringed in 2010 by Sorby Breck ringers in Markeaton, Derbys.

Finally a couple of old records...

An Oystercatcher, ringed by the group on a trip to the Loch of Mey in 1988, has been resighted in Norway, 28 years later, a decent recovery, but still 12 years off the longevity record!

A Grey Heron, ringed in 1992 as a chick in the now-defunct Heronry at Branshill Wood over the river from Attenborough, has been found dead in floodwater on the River Soar in Leicestershire this May. This does break the longevity record at a little over 24 years.