Wednesday 31 August 2016

Recent Recoveries

Two Attenborough-born Common Terns have been resighted by the same observer at Cropston Reservoir in Leicestershire. The first was seen on 17 July and had originally been ringed in June 2001. The second was seen a few weeks later on 4 August, having originally been ringed in July 2013. This site is one of the first large waterbodies directly south of ANR so would be the ideal first stop on the birds' journey south to Africa.

A Cormorant ringed at Attenborough this April, has been resighted at Ogston reservoir on the 14 August.

Another Mute Swan has been controlled by Sorby Breck ringing group at one of their sites near Ilkeston. This one had been ringed in Cossall in 2010, and was recaptured in June this year.

A Tawny Owl ringed as an adult in Owthrope in April 2014 has was found dead on the roads in nearby Cotgrave on the 1 August.

A Greenfinch caught at the farmland feeding site at Sutton Bonington in December last year was caught by a cat nearby in the village on the 4 July.

A Lesser Redpoll, ringed at Bestwood in October last year has been controlled by ringers near Fleetwood, Lancashire, in May this year.


Monday 29 August 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 28 August

Gary, Duncan, Sue, Tom and I ran another ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont. It had been difficult picking the best day to go as the forecast had been changing by the hour in the preceding days but based on the day that suited most people and with fingers crossed for the weather we went for Sunday.

As it turned out the weather was perfect for netting, at least to start, with overcast skies and no wind. We set 10 nets in the usual places and extracted 35 birds on the way back to the base after putting up the last couple of nets! Catching remained brisk but we always had a wary eye on the, mostly, very dark skies. At around 1100 we did have a few spots of rain and with the breeze picking up a little we opted not to ride our luck any further and took down.

We ended with an excellent catch of 124 including 17 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 0/2, Dunnock 2/1, Robin 8/1, Blackcap 30/1, Garden Warbler 1/0, Whitethroat 6/0, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Chiffchaff 22/4, Willow Warbler 2/0, Reed Warbler 13/0, Blue Tit 2/2, Great Tit 3/0, Long-tailed Tit 2/6, Bullfinch 1/0, Goldfinch 6/0, Reed Bunting 5/0. The oldest retrap was a Long-tailed Tit from 2012.

A little busy to see much overhead but Tom did spot a Bittern taking off from one of the reed beds.


 adult Whitethroat (S. Lakeman)

Friday 26 August 2016

Ramsdale Park, Tuesday 23 August

Duncan and I made another visit to Ramsdale, setting the usual line of 8x18m nets. The forecast was for a cloudy start but then sun and getting very hot. The cloud never appeared so we had clear skies from the start but thankfully very little wind. As the sun got higher it certainly got hotter and despite the catching rate starting well it died off quickly as the temperature climbed.

In total we ended with a catch of 45 including 3 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 4/0, Wren 2/0, Dunnock 2/0, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 7/1, Garden Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 5/1, Willow Warbler 5/0, Whitethroat 4/1, Blue Tit 1/0, Great Tit 4/0, Bullfinch 5/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds.

No surprises but still a high ratio of adults to juveniles being caught, including 4 of the 5 Willow Warblers! A Spotted Flycatcher decided to use the top of the trees at the lower end of the net line to catch flies from, great to see but a pity it didn’t drop a little lower.


Monday 22 August 2016

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 21 August

Gary, Duncan, Sue and I held a ringing session at the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont today. We were also joined by Pete Leonard, it was good to do some ringing with him again. The forecast had again predicted strong winds and after Saturday’s battering I was not very optimistic about getting a decent catch. However, this time the forecast was wrong but in our favour, it was a little breezy to start and it did increase as the morning progressed but it was not as strong as forecast and with mostly overcast skies we did pretty well.

We ended with a catch of 81 including just 2 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 2/1, Wren 1/1, Robin 2/0, Blackcap 16/0, Garden Warbler 5/0, Whitethroat 9/0, Lesser Whitethroat 4/0, Chiffchaff 9/0, Willow Warbler 5/0, Reed Warbler 11/0, Blue Tit 4/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 6/0, Bullfinch 3/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Blackbird from 2010 that we had not previously recaptured.

Three Swifts passed overhead and a quite a few hirundines. A couple of Oystercatchers and a Greenshank flew over and the Goldfinch flock visiting the thistle patches numbered well over 100 at times.


This Speckled Wood was one of very few butterflies that battled to get going in the cool conditions. (Sue Lakeman)

Monday 15 August 2016

Ramsdale Park, Sunday 14 August

Jim, Sue, Duncan, Amelia and I made another visit to Ramsdale setting the usual line of 8x18m nets plus an extra 6x12m nets. Conditions were perfect, no wind and overcast overcast skies for all the session. Catching was steady all morning because of the conditions and we had a couple of surprise first captures at the site: a Reed Warbler and a Jay.

In total we ended with a catch of 101 including 5 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 4/1, Wren 2/0, Robin 11/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Blackcap 18/1, Garden Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 15/1, Willow Warbler 17/0, Whitethroat 11/1, Lesser Whitethroat 2/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Bullfinch 5/0, Linnet 3/1, Jay 1/0.

The oldest retraps were last years birds, including a returning Chiffchaff. A good catch in perfect conditions but last year on the 11 August in not quite as good conditions Jim and I had a catch of 151 with just the 8x18m nets up!


 Photos by Amelia Reddish

Holme Pierrepont, Friday 12 August

Jim, Gary, Duncan and I held a weather affected ringing session at the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont today. The forecast had predicted strong winds and despite starting relatively calm the wind soon picked up and with full sun this prompted an early finish. No doubt the catch was reduced by the conditions but the site seemed very quiet and Reed Warblers were in very low numbers in the reed bed. We ended with a catch of 41 including 6 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Dunnock 1/0, Wren 4/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 7/0, Garden Warbler 3/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Reed Warbler 8/0, Blue Tit 6/0, Great Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 0/2, Bullfinch 1/1. The oldest retraps were from 2014.


Holme Pierrepont, Friday 5 August

Gary and I made another visit to the Blott’s end of Holme Pierrepont. We limited the nets again with just the two of us but in fine and bright conditions we were satisfied with a catch of 63 birds plus a brood of 5 Goldfinch chicks - they had nested in one of the net rides.

The catch included only 4 retraps, the birds seem to be moving through the site quickly. The catch was made up of (new/retrap): Green Woodpecker 1/0, Dunnock 1/1, Wren 2/1, Robin 1/0, Blackcap 6/1, Whitethroat 5/1, Lesser Whitethroat 3/0, Garden Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 2/0, Willow Warbler 4/0, Reed Warbler 20/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/0, Goldfinch 5 (plus 5 pulli)/0, Reed Bunting 2/0. The retraps were all recently ringed birds.


Tuesday 2 August 2016

Grey Heron re-sighting

A Grey Heron colour-ringed as a chick at Attenborough Nature Reserve on 4 May 2014 has been photographed alive and well in Staffordshire. It was at Minster Pool in Litchfield on 9 July 2016 and this is about 47km away. This is the second live re-sighting of one of our birds. Thanks very much to Nigel Northwood for finding and photographing the bird and Scott Petrek for getting in touch.

Ramsdale Park, Sunday 31 July

Gary, Alex and I made another visit to Ramsdale, setting the usual line of 8x18m nets. Conditions were very good with virtually no wind and overcast overcast skies to start. Catching was steady but again nets at the top of the slope caught more than those at the bottom. In total we ended with a catch of 55 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Dunnock 1/1, Wren 2/1, Blackcap 8/2, Garden Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 11/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Whitethroat 4/2, Blue Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 4/1, Chaffinch 2/0, Linnet 9/0.

The oldest retraps were last year's birds. Not as many warblers as I would have expected but both Blackcap and Whitethroat were caught with equal numbers of adults and juveniles, at this time of year I would expect a ratio showing considerably more juveniles. It's possible that the poor summer weather may have caused many breeding attempts to fail.


 juvenile Linnet (A. Phillips)