Monday, 26 June 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 6 - Sunday 25 June

The sixth CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Sunday by Gary, Duncan, Pete S and I. The forecast was for cloudy and breezy conditions but the sun did break through for a good while. Despite the breezy conditions we had another good catch, we finished with 55 birds processed (40 new/15 retrap) made up of: Wren 2/1, Dunnock 3/0, Robin 1/1, Reed Warbler 4/1, Blackcap 1/3, Chiffchaff 3/3, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 13/1, Great Tit 2/3, Long-tailed Tit 3/0, Treecreeper 1/1, Goldfinch 2/0, Greenfinch 2/0, Bullfinch 2/1. The oldest retrap was a Great Tit from 2012.


Attenborough Sand Martins, Wednesday 21 June

Phil, Pete S and I held another session to catch the adult Sand Martins. The weather was good with a light breeze but this was easterly so the bank protected the net. After the session Phil looked at the results and reported the following:

- 39 birds caught, 22 retraps and 17 new birds

- 4 of the birds were 3Js, one not ringed as a pullus (moved from the natural colony possibly?). So, of the 120+ birds that have fledged so far, it looks as though most of them have already left the area. One of the 3 birds fledged a week ago and the other two must have just fledged (were close to fledging last Friday and are now 23-25 days old).

- Of the 19 adult retraps, only 5 were birds that we also caught on 25 May, when we caught 45 adults. This seems to be a very low proportion. It’s partly explained by the fact that we caught 24 adults on face C last time and only 3 this time and no adults on face A last time and 16 on A today. A better comparison is on face B, where we caught 21 adults on 25 May and only one of these was also caught today (2 birds caught today on B were caught previously on C). It’s interesting to speculate why this might be – might birds have their second brood in a different hole and with the natural colony nearby, might some of the birds have relocated?

- When we then look at A, we caught 16 adults, 10 new birds and 6 retraps. All of the retraps were caught in 2016, 5 as pulli and 1 as an adult. Where were all of these birds on 25 May? Late arrivals or have they also had a brood elsewhere and are now having their second brood on A (as of last Friday, there were 7 nests with eggs on A, 6 of which are new nests where there was not a first brood).

- We had 3 controls of birds that were not originally ringed at Attenborough, none of which have been caught here before.

- For the 2 sessions combined, we have caught a total of 75 adults, 41 males and 34 females. My estimate of the number of breeding pairs is c 41 (based on first brood nests with eggs) and if this is reasonably accurate, we have caught a very high percentage of the adults, which is what we were hoping to achieve with the new net. If the colony is more dynamic, which today’s session would suggest, we’ve probably still achieved this target, albeit with not such a high percentage. We’ve just got to make sure next year, all of the birds breed on the colony!


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Wales, Sunday 11 June

The annual trip to Wales to ring the Pied Flycatcher chicks was made by Duncan, Kev, Mick and me a couple of weeks ago. Following reports that the previous week's terrible wet and windy weather had caused havoc in many nestboxes across the west of the UK, we were unsure what we might find.

There were a few nests with dead, well-grown chicks, showing that it must have been difficult to find food in the inclement conditions, but despite this, we still managed a decent session, with 108 chicks ringed, the majority in the 'bottom' boxes at the base of the hill. Toilet wood was very poor and the other areas fared slightly better. Five adults were ringed and a control was also captured.

We also ringed a single brood of 5 Redstarts and an adult Wood Warbler. Several Red Kites were noted on the journey.


Monday, 19 June 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 5 - Saturday 17 June

The fifth CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Saturday by Gary, Sue, Pete S and me. The forecast was for a hot weekend but I decided to go for Saturday as there was some early cloud forecast and Sunday was going to be even hotter. Fortunately the forecast was right and for the first couple of hours we had some broken cloud before the sun came out in full force and with little breeze it was hot. For the last hour we had to move the base under the trees to get out of the sun, despite the increased threat of mosquitoes in the shade! 
The catching rate started quite briskly and did not drop off as much as expected with the full sun. It was nice to catch a juvenile Kingfisher on what proved to be a bit of a Wren day. We finished with a very respectable 54 birds processed (43 new/11 retrap) made up of: Kingfisher 1/0, Blackbird 2/2, Song Thrush 2/1, Wren 11/2, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 1/0, Reed Warbler 3/0, Sedge Warbler 0/2, Blackcap 8/0, Chiffchaff 5/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 2/0, Chaffinch 2/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retraps were from 2016.
 (S. Lakeman)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Recent Recoveries

Or not so recent recoveries - this is a bit of a 'bumper' round-up, with recoveries dating back to February!

Barn Owls, to begin with, as the young birds begin to disperse prior to breeding, we often get a number of reports of birds found dead.
  • A bird found dead on the road at Whatton at the end of March had originally been ringed nearby in Bingham as a chick, in August 2014.
  • A bird ringed in Stathern in June 2016, was found in Carlton-on-Trent in February. Another bird ringed in the same village, but a few days later, was also found dead, in Sutton-on-Trent.
  • A bird ringed in Norwell in October 2016 was found dead in Caunton the following month.
  • A first year female ringed in Muston in 2016 was found on the roads in the village on the 21st March.
  • A bird ringed in Hockerwood in 2014 was found in February this year in the Southwell area, as a road casualty.
  • And finally, a bird was found in Barnstone in February, having originally been ringed in Screveton in June 2014.
A Tawny Owl ringed in Stathern in May 2016 was found on the road, in nearby Hose in January this year.

More colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls have been noted, with 2 seen at Stoke Bardolph in January this year. One (2LXX), seen on the 7th, was originally ringed at Pitsea Landfill in Essex in January 2016 as a first winter bird. Another, E5NK, which was seen on the 25th, was originally ringed in June 2011 as a chick. It was ringed in Zoetermeer, Netherlands, and has been seen previously in Stoke Bardolph in February 2015, as well as being seen numerous times in its native city.

Two Canada Geese from the University of Nottingham ringing project have been noted. 2N3 was seen on 29 December at Holme Pierrepont rowing course last year, and was originally ringed in July 2014. 58N was ringed in 2016, and was also seen at Holme Pierrepont in December, as well as Trent Bridge in September.

A few passerine recoveries have also been received.

Two Lesser Redpoll, ringed at Bestwood, have been recovered locally. A bird ringed in October, was controlled by Birklands RG nearby in Bestwood Country park in April this year. Another ringed in November, was controlled by a ringer in Edwinstowe in March.

Birklands controlled another SNRG bird, a young Chaffinch ringed at Ramsdale Golf Club in September last year. It was recaptured in February, also at Bestwood Country Park.

And last but not least, a Reed Warbler ringed at Holme Pierrepont as a 3J in August 2015, has been controlled a site in Charente-Maritime in western France, in August 2016. Was this bird on migration back from the UK, or had it decided to spend its first summer in France? Who knows?


Monday, 5 June 2017

Attenborough CES Visit 4 - Sunday 4 June

The fourth CES visit of the season to Attenborough was carried out on Sunday by Duncan, Gary, Sue, Alex, Jake, Trish and I. Clear skies and a bit of a breeze from the start. Catching started slowly and did not really pick up until the end of the session when we caught some juvenile Blue & Great Tits. At least some have fledged!

We finished on 42 birds processed (29 new/13 retrap) made up of: Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Wren 2/1, Dunnock 1/2, Robin 3/2, Reed Warbler 1/1, Blackcap 3/0, Chiffchaff 1/1, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Blue Tit 5/0, Great Tit 8/1, Treecreeper 0/1, Bullfinch 1/3, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Long-tailed Tit from 2014.


Friday, 2 June 2017

Ramsdale Park Golf Club, Wednesday 31 May

We held the first ringing session of the year at Ramsdale this morning. The weather was good with little wind and clear skies. The team consisted of Gary, Duncan, Mick and myself. 
The catch was steady throughout the morning, although the site did seem fairly quiet. However, whereas last year's first visit resulted in 35 birds, this visit ended with a total catch of 49 (40 new/9 retrap) made up of: Blackbird 1/2, Song Thrush 1/0, Dunnock 3/1, Wren 1/0, Robin 5/0, Blackcap 3/2, Whitethroat 3/0, Chiffchaff 8/3, Great Tit 2/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Coal Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 7/0, Bullfinch 2/1, Goldfinch 2/0. 
The oldest retrap was a Chiffchaff from our first visit to the site in July 2015. A couple of Cuckoos flew around all morning but managed to evade the nets!

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 28 May

Duncan, Tom, Trish, Gary and I paid a visit to the Grange end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday. The weather was good, mostly overcast skies and a light breeze.

The catch was steady throughout and we ended on 41 birds processed (27 new/14 retrap) made up of: Blackbird 3/0, Dunnock 1/0, Robin 2/2, Blackcap 2/1, Garden Warbler 3/0, Willow Warbler 1/3, Reed Warbler 6/3, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 6/2, Bullfinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 1/1.

The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2013. Other than the reed beds around the lake the site is becoming more overgrown and heading towards woodland. This was illustrated by the absence of Whitethroat from the site, the first year that I have not seen or heard one in the breeding season.