Thursday, 27 June 2019

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Thursday 27 June

I caught this juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker at Bestwood this morning. As stated in the “Identification of European Non-Passerines” by Jeff Baker, juveniles undergo a partial post-juvenile moult (which begins in the nest) including body feathers, primaries, some or all upperwing coverts, and tail. Primary moult begins in or just after the fledging period.

Mick P

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Attenborough CES visit 6, Sunday 23 June

We carried out the sixth and final CES visit of the year at Attenborough today. An overcast sky with a light breeze to start but the sun did come out for the second half of the session and the breeze picked up. The team consisted of Gary, Duncan, Holly, Mick, Alex, Alan and myself. The catch rate was steady throughout the morning and we finished with a total catch of 46 birds including 14 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/2, Song Thrush 0/2, Robin 2/1, Wren 9/1, Dunnock 3/0, Chiffchaff 2/1, Blackcap 8/5, Reed Warbler 2/0, Treecreeper 0/1, Blue Tit 4/1, Great Tit 2/0. I have not delved into the records yet but I think this must rate as one of our best (if not the best) ever year for captures on the CES at Attenborough. The oldest retraps were from 2017. A Hobby circled overhead as we walked from the site at the end of the session.


 Blackcap, Treecreeper, Song Thrush, Blackbird (Alan Hurst) Blackcap release video below by Alex Phillips.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Attenborough CES visit 5, Sunday 16 June

We were due to hold a ringing demonstration for the Notts Wildlife Trust today at Holme Pierrepont to coincide with a ‘wild camping’ event they were holding there over the weekend. Unfortunately the event was cancelled on Friday after the week of rain that we have just endured. So we decided to carry out CES visit 5 at Attenborough instead. Heavy rain the previous night meant the vegetation was dripping with water first thing but the sun was out and there was a slight breeze. The clear skies only lasted for a couple of hours then ominous looking cloud and a strengthening wind took over. However, for once, we were spared and the rain only started as we were about to leave the site at the usual time. The team consisted of Gary, Duncan, Holly, Mick and myself, we were also joined by Kath and Alan who had come along for a taster session.

I thought the wet vegetation would subdue the birds a little but we started steadily and as the vegetation dried out a little the catch picked up. The total catch was 69 birds including 9 retraps comprising (new/retrap): Great Spotted Woodpecker 2/0, Robin 6/0, Wren 10/0, Dunnock 0/1, Chiffchaff 4/2, Blackcap 10/2, Reed Warbler 2/0, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Cetti’s Warbler 2/0, Treecreeper 3/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 3/2, Long-tailed Tit 14/2. The oldest retrap was a Dunnock from 2017. A Cuckoo was heard calling again.


 Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sedge Warbler and Wren (Kath Ward)

 Blackcaps, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Alan Hurst)

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Recent Recoveries

The first recovery round-up in a while - this covers the first 5 months of this year!

A Mute Swan, ringed at Markeaton in Derby in August 2010 was seen at Attenborough in April this year. Another bird, ringed in 2007 at Rushcliffe Country Park, was also seen at Attenborough on the 6 January.

Also at Attenborough, a couple of Egyptian Goose recoveries. The first had its ring read in February, having originally been ringed on site in 2009. The other was unfortunately found dead in May, and was ringed on the reserve in 2015.

An Attenborough Common Tern chick, ringed at the nest in 2014, was caught in September last year at Marismas del Odiel in Huelva, Spain.

The Attenborough Sand Martin Colony continues to produce recoveries and controls. A bird ringed as a chick in June 2016 was controlled at Redhill Marina in June this year. Another bird, mist-netted at the colony as a juvenile in July last year, was controlled by ringers in France at Marais-des-Moisin in September of the same year. A bird ringed as a chick in Rutland last June, was also netted at Attenborough in May this year.

Bestwood Tree Sparrows remain a staple of the recovery round-up, showing that they are relatively mobile between colonies in the region. However some local recoveries are also received. A Birklands-ringed bird, caught at Bestwood Country Park in September 2018, was controlled at Mick's Bestwood site in April This year. Birds from further afield that have been controlled here recently have come from Retford Sewage works, Overend (Derbyshire) and Cropwell Bishop.

A ring found in January at Holme Pierrepont by metal detectorists, had originally been placed on a Blackbird there, over 12 years previously, in September 2006. Another Blackbird met its fate in the claws of a cat in April this year in Ilkeston. The bird had been ringed in Alex's Garden the previous Spring.

A Starling, ringed in the Meadows in 2016, was found dead in Clifton in April, whilst another ringed at the same site in 2018 was taken by a Sparrowhawk in Calverton in March.

A Reed Warbler, caught in August last year at Holme Pierrepont, had originally been ringed at a site near Coimbra, Portugal in September 2011.

A Chiffchaff, ringed in the Autumn of 2017 at Stanford Res in Northants, has been controlled by the group at Ramsdale Golf Club in May.

A Long-tailed Tit, ringed at Manor Floods, Ilkeston in October, was found dead in the town, killed by a cat in April.

A Greenfinch, ringed in Sibthorpe in March 2018, was found dead in Potterhanworth near Lincoln in February.

And finally, a Sutton Bonington Yellowhammer, ringed in March 2016 was found dead nearby in May this year.


Monday, 10 June 2019

Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 9 June

The first visit of the year was made to the Blotts end of Holme Pierrepont on Sunday by Duncan, Mick T, Gary, Sue, Sarah, Helen, Holly and me. We managed to get a brief window in the poor weather and set up the site ready for next weekend's ringing demo. A calm and sunny start to the morning later gave way to a gentle breeze and some cloud. We finished with a respectable catch of 100 including 13 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 4/1, Song Thrush 2/1, Wren 1/2, Dunnock 7/2, Robin 6/0, Cetti’s Warbler 0/1, Blackcap 21/0, Garden Warbler 3/0, Whitethroat 5/1, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 7/0, Willow Warbler 2/3, Reed Warbler 2/0, Sedge Warbler 2/0, Blue Tit 4/1, Great Tit 9/1, Long-tailed Tit 7/0, Greenfinch 3/0, Chaffinch 1/0. The oldest retraps were a Dunnock and Wren from 2016.


A first summer Lesser Whitethroat showing contrast in the tail between original and replaced feathers (K. Hemsley)

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Attenborough CES visit 4, Sunday 2 June

CES visit 4 at Attenborough was carried out today in mainly calm and overcast conditions but a rain shower at 1030 made us close a couple of nets for 20 minutes. The rain then came back stronger as we were about to take down at 1200. A bumper-sized team of 10 this week consisted of Gary, Duncan, Alex, Sarah, Sophie, Alice, Holly, Helen, Richard and myself. Despite what were predominantly good mist-netting conditions the catch was smaller than I thought it would be but we did have the first juvenile warblers of the year, a couple of Blackcaps.

The total catch was 35 birds including 15 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/1, Song Thrush 0/1, Robin 3/1, Wren 1/0, Dunnock 3/7, Chiffchaff 0/1, Blackcap 5/3, Reed Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 2/0, Treecreeper 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 2/0, Bullfinch 1/1. The oldest retrap was a Dunnock from 2012. A Cuckoo was heard calling again.


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Nest box monitoring - Sunday 19 May

Nest boxes at Brackenhurst & beyond proved very productive on Sunday. At one point, Vicki and I found seven different species in seven boxes around Brackenhurst – Tawny, Barn and Little Owls, Kestrel, Stock Dove, Blue Tit and Nuthatch. The Nuthatch pulli (see pic) were the first ringed by the group since 1997! They were in a bat box, which took some working out to safely access the chicks. Elsewhere, at NWT’s Duke's Wood we ringed our last Tawny Owl chicks, the female (see pic) was ringed as an adult in the same box in 2006, and was also caught breeding in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Current Group members – Gary & Pete – have met her. Nearby, at Kirklington we also caught another female Tawny for the seventh year running. Duke's Wood and adjacent woodlands have good shrub and plant layers, and this is likely to be providing plenty of prey - small mammals and birds - for the Tawnies.


 Nuthatch pulli (JL)
 The O.A.T.! (JL)